Okay, who hasn’t dreamed of winning the lottery? And if that fantasy hasn’t passed through your mind, certainly you’ve wondered what it would be like to have an attorney contact you about a fortune left to you by some relative you never knew. Or maybe you’ve imagined the “Prize Patrol” knocking on your door. Have you ever wished for your bargain buy at a yard sale to turn out to be the most valuable item ever seen on the “Antiques Road Show?”
It’s fun to flirt with the fantasy of receiving great wealth, of riches just falling into our lap. It’s the stuff of story, treasure hunts, and diamonds under our feet. Thinking of wealth coming our way and what that would enable can make for fun daydreaming.
I love asking people, “If money were no concern, what would you do, or what would you do differently?” Travel, quit your job, spend more time with someone you love, pay off your home, have a second home somewhere. Who would you help out with some of your pot of gold?
We like to imagine ourselves as generous philanthropists if “our ship came in.” But, in reality, it’s a maybe or maybe not! If we live most of our lives inverting one of Jesus’ clear statements, it just wouldn’t be that easy to suddenly change.
In essence Jesus said that it is more enjoyable, more blessed, more rewarding to give than to receive. But if we live our lives imagining the joy of receiving, if we are “getters” more than “givers,” then even if our ship came in, there’s a good chance our habits wouldn’t change.
But what if we believe Jesus? What if we began, even in our small limited way, to determine and then see ourselves as givers? Would Jesus’ words come true for us and our lives become the most blest? Letting go of some of our time, our stuff, our money means we could experience the same blessedness that we see in those who may be able to give huge, culture-changing gifts. Maybe the size of the gift isn’t comparable, but Jesus says we will be blest more as givers than as receivers. Of course, there’s only one way to find out, and that is to become givers over getters.
So in 2012, maybe a great resolution would be to begin or to enlarge our world of blessing by practicing living as a giver more than a receiver—After all, Jesus said being a giver is better than winning the lottery!