Wednesday, July 11, 2012

the art of giving

In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, 'It is more blessed to give than to receive.'" (Acts 20:35 ESV)

Miroslav Volf, reflecting on a lesson learned from the adoption of their two sons...

"Like our sons, all of us were a gift when we were born – a peculiar yet most beautiful of gifts, a gift that at first only receives, a gift that gives back only the joy parents might feel in giving and the delight they might experience in the child’s flourishing. Often enough, tiredness chokes up joy, and worry extinguishes delight. But still, most parents do their best to give, and they do so knowing well that their gifts will never be returned in full, but perhaps will be paid forward, that children will give to their own children or to others they encounter on their life’s journey. We know it is good to receive, and we have been blessed by receiving not only as children, but also as adults. Yet Jesus taught that it is more blessed to give than to receive (Acts 20:35), and part of growing up is learning the art of giving. If we fail to learn this art, we will live unfulfilled lives, and in the end, chains of bondage will replace the bonds that keep our communities together. If we just keep taking or even trading, we will squander ourselves. If we give, we will regain ourselves as fulfilled individuals and flourishing communities."

(Miroslav Volf, from Free of Charge)

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