Takers and Givers

Bible Reading: Matthew 10:1-16

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“And whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these little ones a cup of cold water only in the name of a disciple, verily I say unto you, he shall in no wise lose his reward” (Matthew 10:42)

Visitors to our part of North Carolina are eagerly greeted, not only by their human friends, but by other creatures as well. In the spring, swarms of gnats are eager to meet the newcomer. These tiny insects perch on any available skin, leaving itchy red welts where they bite. Though they make no effort to avoid being killed, they overwhelm people by sheer numbers.

Deer flies greet guests in small groups. Shaped like fighter jets, they orbit one’s head at bewildering speed. They land and take off again with such precise timing that their victims slap themselves an instant after the fly has darted away. While the person is distracted with the deer fly, a tick may be edging near. And everyone knows what the mosquito has in mind when they hear her high-pitched drone.

Although gnats, flies, ticks, and mosquitoes have different techniques, they all have one thing in common: they are parasites. The word parasite stems from the Greek words para (beside) and sitos (food). The word originated in ancient Greek and Roman culture, where the wealthy often had followers who would flatter, entertain, and dote on them in the interest of eating at their table. Today the word is used to describe people or creatures who always take but give nothing of value in return.

Jesus taught the doctrine of giving. Although He had nothing good to say about the wealthy who skimmed from their abundance to toss a few coins to the widows and orphans, He showed us that we all have much to share. Even the poorest can present the Gospel. We can offer comfort, bestow blessing, provide encouragement, and share inspiration. The parasite mentality says, “I’ll take from another so I can live.” The believer’s motto is, “Freely I have received, freely I will give.”

Since blessings we have each obtained,
Let generous hand be not refrained.

From Paws on My Porch, by Gary Miller
© 2015 TGS International, PO Box 355, Berlin, Ohio 44610
Used by permission


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