I have shewed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive. (Acts 20:35)
Sometimes I think I want blessings like these:
- Owning my own house that is well-decorated with a beautiful garden
- Figuring out a perfect schedule that enables me to always be on task and accomplish everything
- More money and better stuff that works and doesn’t break
- Being able to see people that are fun to be around
- Living where I would like to live, in a convenient place with lots of good people
But instead, throughout my life I have received blessings more like these:
- Living in an area that was fairly low-income with people that needed a lot of help and support
- Visiting with people that were overwhelmed with their own problems
- Living in highly inconvenient places and making friends with people who are not like me at all
- Learning hard lessons and then being able to share and help other people because I’ve been there
- Becoming really good friends through people I have helped and who have helped me
And looking back on my life, I have had much greater satisfaction when I have been able to give. It’s not very meaningful to get everything you want for your birthday. It’s not very interesting when life is easy and you have everything you ever wanted.
We like to struggle. And we like to help each other in that struggle. The best relationships I have are built through serving and loving–people I have served and people who have helped me. Those relationships are much stronger than sharing common interests. They mean a whole lot more.
And those relationships are the basis of a good and happy life. My greatest blessings in my life have been the opportunities I have been given to help other people. I would always give up an easy and rich and fortunate life if that meant that I could develop meaningful relationships and be in a position to help others.
I didn’t realize that when I was younger–my dreams and goals were more about myself than about helping other people. And I’m so glad life has gone in a very different direction, and the Lord has blessed me so much in unexpected ways.