“When we give freely, we feel full and complete; when we withhold, we feel small, petty, impotent, and lacking. We are meant to learn this great truth, that giving fulfills us, while withholding and trying to get causes us to feel empty and even more needy. This truth runs counter to our programming, which drives us to try to get something from others to fulfill our neediness, only to end up even more needy, grasping, lacking, and unfulfilled.”
“All too often we regard stewardship simply as a matter of our giving to God, but this aspect is secondary. Before we can give, we must possess, and before we possess we must receive. Therefore, stewardship is, in the first place, receiving God’s good and bounteous gifts. And once received, those gifts are not to be used solely for our own good. They must also be used for the benefit of others, and ultimately for the glory of God the giver. The steward needs an open hand to receive from God and then an active hand to give to God and to others.”—Murray J. Harris
God's Grace at Work
Anne Lamott, author of the wonderful book Traveling Mercies tells of how in her church babies get passed around the moment they're brought into the sanctuary - everyone takes care of everyone else's babies. Every baby instantly has more parents and grandparents, aunts and uncles than he ever knew.
Imagine what that teaches children about Christian community! What they learn about love even as infants! For the adults, everyone gets a chance to remember the miracle of birth, God's hand in our human being.
If there is a heresy today it is that we're so preoccupied with other things that we fail to pay attention to the fact of God's spectacular grace at work in and through our humanity, God's miraculous unmerited love in evidence around us. God's Son born to bring us Second Birth while we labor under the assumption that we have to do it all ourselves.
Peter Buehler, With God Nothing Is Impossible