Giving is loving

Published 9:53 am Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Authors note: This devotion comes to you from a foundation that sends me devotions from time to time, and I wanted to share it with you.

The word “give” appears 880 times in the Bible. It’s interesting that the word “love” appears 442 times. The lesson here is that “giving” is connected to “loving,” and we know we are loved through giving.

A staff member from a foundation I get my personal devotions from shared a story this week that impacted my life and I hope it will yours. A group had been discussing year-end giving and the question was raised, “How do you convince people to do things they don’t want to do or don’t think they need to do?”

This staff member then told the story of her four-year-old son, Sullivan, who is constantly by her side, observing all the joys and struggles experienced by his sister with special needs. Sullivan loves his big sister without hesitation, and every day since school began, he has given her a sucker when she gets in the car. Finally, the mom’s curiosity inclined her to ask Sullivan’s teacher where he got the “mysterious” sucker every day?

The teacher replied, “I thought you knew!”

“Knew what?,” said Sullivan’s mother.

The teacher answered, “I questioned Sullivan why he wasn’t eating his daily reward with the other children. He told me that his big sister has Autism and she has a hard time with school. The sucker makes her smile, he said.”

What the mother didn’t know is that the sucker is a reward for her son’s exceptional behavior at school, and rather than keeping it to himself, he chooses to give it to his big sister every day. Sullivan gave what he had to make his sister’s life better. Even at the young age of four, he didn’t need to be taught to give. He just did, and he gave from his heart. This gives me hope that mankind is the same.

A simple gesture from a child can teach us all a lesson about giving. There are no rules. It isn’t complicated. It is connected with love. Thanks Sullivan for this important lesson.

Luke 21:2-4 Jesus saw a poor widow put in two very small copper coins. “I tell you the truth,” he said, “this poor widow has put more than all the others. All these people gave their gifts out of their wealth; but she out of poverty put in all she had to live on.”

Tim Beck is pastor of Kenbridge United Methodist Church. His email address is