Takers and Givers

Yesterday’s mail brought my copy of our new Bank of America Cash Rewards Visa card. Solid metal. With a golden chip that identifies me, my age, my appearance, my passwords, the name of my dog, my mother’s maiden name and what I usually eat for breakfast.

It’s bright red. With the BofA logo splashed across the front. On the back it has my personal private number, a security code and a wonderful silver hologram of a dove rising into a bright red sky. The bottom line praises me for being a member since 1972. We’re celebrating 46 years of being together!

The bank has financed a couple cars for our family, helped the kids get through college, cared for a mortgage and always been ready to charge me an exorbitant amount of interest when we cannot pay the card off on time.

The only reason we still have the credit card is to cover any “overdrafts” that might occur while we’re off on a trip to Fiji. Or South Africa. Or Colorado. Other than that, the card is “inactive.”

Yet, we still get regular offers to borrow money at “great rates.” Promises to be our “friendly” mortgage banker. Encouragements to “refinance” or purchase some huge item we do not need. They are always there for us.

Funny, the bank doesn’t seem impressed when we maintain a $600 balance in our account and have no debt. It seems that they would like us better if we were paying interest on something, overdrawing our account or begging them to loan us money. They want more. More. More.

Yesterday’s mail also brought “begging” letters from a dozen wonderful charities, most of which send us stuff we don’t want in exchange for our feeling guilty for keeping the stuff and not sending them buckets of money. How many return address labels do we really need? Even if they have cute polar bears on them!

The world is filled with “takers.”

Jesus is a “giver.”

First, He gives His time. Thirty-two earthly years, plus the time it took to prepare for His earthly adventure. He likely feels that “earth” is about all He’s ever done!

Second, He gives whatever people need, never even considering what He might get out of it.

No, let me take that back. I think “what He might get out of giving” is always on His mind. If He gives, maybe we’ll stop, listen and choose to be loved. And, if we learn to love being loved, we might even choose to move in with Him, so He could give us even more!

Third, He keeps right on giving, even if we don’t care to receive or are unwilling to acknowledge Him as the Giver. Flowers, children, puppies, peace, laughter, smiles, opportunities, snow, rain, water skis, cameras, mountain boots, sunglasses, cottage cheese loaf, soft hands, warm lips, cell phones … .

Fourth, He gives us freedom. Freedom to refuse the gifts or enjoy them. Freedom to become takers. Freedom to join in His giving.

June 29, 2018 / Just Like Jesus