Making Giving Your Life's Work

Tuesday, June 11, 2013 Posted by Anitra Elmore

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The greatest sermon I've "seen" on giving was preached to me by an unbeliever.

My husband and I lived in the garage apartment of her home, where we worked for her and her husband in exchange for rent. He was a savvy, successful business man who had amassed a great deal of wealth. She was a savvy, successful giver who spent her days giving that wealth away.

I remember walking into her home office and listening to her explain what she did there. The correct phrase for it is "philanthropy," but what I heard her say is that she used that office for the sole purpose of giving (and giving and giving) to others.

It totally messed me up.

You wouldn't believe the piles of mail and drawers of files all dedicated to her giving. I was already floored that "real" people had as much money as they did and beyond floored to discover the work she did in giving it away. I'd never been that close to that much material wealth or seen that level of active generosity.  It marked me indelibly and although our time there was challenging, the Lord used her to show me the kind of giving (and living!) that's possible.

So, I set a goal. I am in laser-beam pursuit of that level of giving and the joy that comes from doing it for the Lord's glory. And maybe one day, some young wife who I've helped will write, "The greatest sermon I've 'seen' on giving was preached to me by a believer who made it her life's work..."


But this I say: He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work. 2 Corinthians 9:6-9


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