Losers Are The Best Givers
The morning sun shone bright and warm. The birds sang with gusto as they scrounged for their morning meal. Everything looked so normal.
As Jennie pulled into the beautiful park, it showed no signs of the terrible wildfire that had consumed her house the day before.
She slowly made her way to a parking spot and turned off the minivan’s ignition. She felt numb. Everything seemed to be moving in slow motion.
Jennie turned to her two daughters, and together they cried.
Leaning against each other.
Leaning on Jesus.
They huddled close to grieve their traumatic experience. Everything had happened so fast after the fire. It was all gone.
They just needed time to breathe. Time to honestly come to grips with their devastating loss.
Can you think of a time when you needed to do the same thing?
It was hard watching my friend and her daughters go through such loss and heartache. But as I observed this amazing, strong Christian woman navigate her life out of the ashes, I noticed several things.
Sometimes, those who lose much tend to give much. Starting from scratch helps us realize the difference between want and need. The fire allowed Jennie and her girls to understand the difference on a deeper level. And the importance of giving back to others in need.
It taught them to hold the stuff of this world loosely.
Surviving hard times allowed Jennie to empathize with others, enter into their pain, and understand on a deeper level how to offer specific comfort.
The apostle Paul understood that. He went through terrible pain and loss during his ministry, yet he kept his eyes focused on God, giving everything he had for the sake of the Gospel.
Including his life.
"But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ." (Phil. 3:7-8)
Loss made Paul a better giver.
We tend to associate loss with a person or objects. Yet sometimes we lose much more valuable, intangible things. Perhaps you have lost faith, trust, hope, love, or innocence.
Loss provides an opportunity to evaluate the importance (or not) of what we've lost. If we consider it valuable, we come to a clearer understanding of its worth when we offer it to others.
Like Paul, loss makes us better givers, too.
I don’t know about you, but I’m much more comfortable giving than receiving. I love doing for others and seeing the comfort and joy it brings to them. Yet sometimes when I need that from others, I shy away from seeking it.
There is no shame in needing.
God created us to live together in relationship to provide strength when we are weak. Love when we feel unlovable. Comfort when we’re most uncomfortable.
Jennie turned a time of great suffering into one of the most profound times of spiritual growth I have been privileged to witness.
When we suffer loss, we have a choice. We can choose to get angry, lash out, withdraw, and turn bitter. Or we can allow our losses to turn us into better people, capable of helping others in need.
To be better givers.
Let's talk: Has a loss in your life made you a better giver? How?