The Rabbi And The Ring

Rabbi Schmelke was known for his generous spirit.  Beggars would practically line up at his door. They knew that no man in the grip of hard times ever walked away from Schmelke's door empty-handed. One day a vagabond knocked. Schmelke answered, but this time he was as penniless as the man who stood before him. The rabbi was undeterred. He reached up on the shelf, pulled down a family ring and gave it to the beggar. "What are you doing?" his wife exclaimed. "That ring cost hundreds of dollars." "Wait!" Schmelke yelled out to the drifter.  "That ring is worth hundreds of dollars.  When you sell it, make sure you get what it's worth!" I love that story. Schmelke had that generous spirit that Jesus commends.

"Here is a simple rule of thumb for behavior: Ask yourself what you want people to do for you; then grab the initiative and do it for them! If you only love the lovable, do you expect a pat on the back? Run-of-the-mill sinners do that. If you only help those who help you, do you expect a medal? Garden-variety sinners do that. If you only give for what you hope to get out of it, do you think that's charity? The stingiest of pawnbrokers does that.

"I tell you, love your enemies. Help and give without expecting a return. You'll never—I promise—regret it. Live out this God-created identity the way our Father lives toward us, generously and graciously, even when we're at our worst. Our Father is kind; you be kind.

"Don't pick on people, jump on their failures, criticize their faults—unless, of course, you want the same treatment. Don't condemn those who are down; that hardness can boomerang. Be easy on people; you'll find life a lot easier. Give away your life; you'll find life given back, but not merely given back—given back with bonus and blessing. Giving, not getting, is the way. Generosity begets generosity." (Luke 6:31-38 The Message)

Want God’s blessing? Share! Want to see others light up? Share! Want the world to witness the church’s love? Share! Giving, not getting, is the way. Generosity begets generosity.

FOCAL POINT: Ask God to help you see a way you can share today.