How Is Your Outflow?
“Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give,
not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.”
2 Corinthians 9:7
Are you a giver? Let me tell you a story about someone who is. My older brother, Luke, is a barber, a very popular one. People flock to his barbershop to get a great haircut. He takes his time, as if he is an artist painting a picture that everyone will see. People like Luke—a lot. He is very likable.
But being an extremely talented barber isn’t Luke’s best feature. Luke’s best trait is that he is a “giver of his company.” What I mean by that is people will also flock to his home—not only the barbershop—just to hang out with him and his family. They have that old-school, busy house, food cooking, kids playing, chill, wholesome atmosphere.
Someone is always joking, the kids are chasing the dog, a video-game challenge is going on—something, at all times, is happening. And the backbone of this family is Luke and Paula’s giving. Giving of what? An open, welcoming home, to anyone.
There is something comforting about going to Luke and Paula’s house; being with them and the girls makes you feel like family, even if you’re not. They have four beautiful little girls (and they wanted more, believe that?). Emma, Sophie, Bella, and Layla are always smiling, running around playing, hanging on you, asking for a bite of your food, and just being good kids.
Luke is a giver of his space—his home. I couldn’t say I’d be able to do it on the level that Luke does. He is always taking someone in who doesn’t have a place to stay, when everyone else rejects them. When people are having a hard time in life and they just want a place to go and sit, to be around others for no particular reason, they go to Luke and Paula’s house.
Someone is always there, and Luke is always sitting right there with them, giving his company, time, home, and space. He gives. The Bible says that God loves a cheerful giver (see 2 Corinthians 9:7). What most people don’t understand is that this does not always have to be money.
Being a barber, Luke is not rich. And he has a large family so he has to pay close attention to the amount of money he spends. He might not be able to fund an orphanage overseas, or financially support a new addition of a church—but he gives what he has—his home, his company, his family, his time.
This is what he gives. We all give differently. It could be your ear, your FaceTime, your phone call, or simply your presence. Giving is handing over your time, your energy, your talents, your resources, and your prayers. We give forgiveness, gratitude, honor, and love.
And when we give, we can tell we are doing it right, because there is a steady outflow from our lives into others’. In Israel, there is a place called the Dead Sea. It is a giant salty lake that has no life in it, no fish or creatures; matter of fact, it is ten times saltier than the ocean. Why is this? It’s because it has no outflow. It takes water in constantly, and none ever goes out. It doesn’t give anything back, so it is dead.
Ask yourself today: “How is my outflow? Am I taking so much in that I’ve become salty? So salty, there is no life in the waters of my soul?”
Now, I’m sure that’s not the case with you, but some people actually are like that. WE MUST GIVE! WE MUST! And we must give out of the goodness of our hearts, which is where Jesus lives!
God is a giver, and His home is inside us, so we should be givers too (see John 3:16, 2 Corinthians 5:21). And always remember that we don’t give to get, we give because…we love. That’s why God gives. Luke and his family love people. They are grace-filled, non-judgmental Christians and everyone is welcome in their home at all times. That’s outflow. That creates life.
So today, my friends, know this: Your Creator is the Ultimate Giver! And He’s already inside you once you place your faith in Jesus as your Savior! He loves you so much, that He gave you Jesus! Let’s all evaluate our giving today, and ask God, “Will you show me how to give like you?” Make no mistake, He will!
A prayer for you: Heavenly Father, today I’m grateful for how giving you are to me because you love me. Thank you for Jesus, thank you for your Holy Spirit, thank you for my family, my home, my job, my sobriety, my ministry, and my good health—just to name a few things to be thankful for. THANK YOU, so much! Right now, I lift up all who are reading this, directly to you. For those who are NOT grateful, but they WANT to be, help them. Begin to reveal in their hearts, through your Holy Spirit, the blessings you’ve ALREADY given them. Teach them how to have a grateful and GIVING attitude. Help them begin to understand that all they have in life is because of you giving it, INCLUDING their life. And teach us ALL how to give, myself included, like you do. Thank you, thank you, thank you—we are grateful, and we love you. Amen.
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