“…freely ye have received, freely give.”
“…You have received without paying, now give without being paid.”Matthew 10:8 (KJV, CEV)
You’ve received…what? What have you received? For starters, salvation. A Christian family. A home in a country with religious freedom. The ability to see, hear, talk, walk, smell, etc. Flowers. Sunrises (or sunsets, for people like me who don’t normally get up early enough to see the sunrise). On and on and on the list could go.
I’m sure you receive all those blessings freely. You don’t hesitate or try to refuse them. You don’t say, “Oh, God, You shouldn’t have; I really don’t need this.” You don’t despise them or try to think how you can get rid of them without hurting the Giver’s feelings. No. You welcome and accept them gladly, wholeheartedly, openly, without having to pay a cent.
So give the same way. You can’t give someone salvation, but you can tell them about Jesus and pray for them. Babysit, clean, send a card or letter (or text or email 😉). Take someone out to eat or for coffee, or invite them over for a meal or take a meal to them. Tell someone you prayed for them. Draw a picture and give it to someone. Help a friend with their homework.
One of my teachers would often say, “You’re never too poor to pay attention.” That was applying to school, but I think we can apply it to giving as well. You might not have a lot of money, might not be very artistic, might not be able to drive and take someone to a cool place… But you can always give them your attention, right? You can listen, can’t you? And maybe that’s all they need or want at the time–just to have someone pay attention and care.
So do something to help, to bless, even if it’s simply listening and spending time with someone. And do it all freely. Do it without expecting to get paid or to have the favor returned. Don’t make the person feel bad that you’re doing this for them. Do it gladly, wholeheartedly.
Freely receive, freely give.