Paying it forward

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Don’t you love the recurring stories about people at Starbucks “paying it forward?” It’s a bit of an anomaly. Someone in the drive-thru decides to pay for the person in line behind them. Then, something beautiful happens, it catches on. The next person “pays it forward” to the next car. I’ve read one account where this continued all day long. Interesting. One person’s random act of kindness infected others. It motivated them to bless a total stranger.

The biblical principle is found in the first book of the Bible.  In Genesis 12:2-3 “I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse, and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.” God’s call to Abraham, among other things, was to be a blessing to others in response to God’s blessing in his life.

If you live in America (and most of you reading this do) you are blessed.  The median household income of those of us who live in the U.S. places a family into the top 0.17% of the richest people in the world according to the Global Rich List.

This is not a statement to generate guilt but to motivate us to generosity. Many of the patriarchs in the Bible were people of means, but they understood they were “blessed to be a blessing.”

In this life, you may be known for many things, but how about being known as someone who blesses others? It probably includes your money, but it also includes your time, your volunteerism, your attention, and your involvement within your community. One translation of Colossians 3:14  says “Above all, be loving. This ties everything together perfectly.”  

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