Proverbs 3:27 Withhold not good from them to whom it is due, when it is in the power of thine hand to do it.
For those of us who didn’t know it, this week people all over the world celebrate World Teacher’s Day. They are those remarkable men and women in every country who tirelessly teach the younger generation. Teaching is becoming a more difficult and challenging profession for a myriad of reasons which I will not venture to discuss here. But let it just be said that teachers are a special breed of people who deserve all the credit that we can give to them as they struggle to face the ever increasing demands placed upon them in their role.
The chaplaincy team at the small country school where I work has decided to go above and beyond in honoring the handful of teachers at our school. We will love upon the teaching staff with a lavish luncheon and a bunch of flowers and chocolates for each one. The children have been invited to write cards of thanks or draw pictures for their teachers as a way of letting them know how appreciated they are. We want every teacher to go home on World Teacher’s Day without a doubt in their mind that they are highly valued and deeply loved.
Matthew 7:12 Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them; for this is the law and the prophets.
Jesus tells us to not hold back in doing good to whom it is due. We are instructed to love upon others in the same way that we would like to be treated. This is an invitation to err on the side of generosity. John Wesley was quoted as saying, “Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can, as long as ever you can.” There is no room for a selfish and stingy spirit here!
Proverbs 3:28 Do not say to your neighbor, “Go, and come again, tomorrow I will give it” – when you have it with you.’
This verse reminds us when is the best time to do good. The best time is now. Let’s take hold of the opportunity that God has given us to do good to others. In what situation and to whom is it within your power to do good today? If we are confident that Christ will care for all our needs according to His rich and bountiful storehouse, then we need never be tightfisted again! We can generously give to those to whom credit is due, but we can go even further than this and generously give to those who are not so deserving.
Matthew 5: 44-45 But I say unto you, love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; that ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven.
It is commendable to be generous to those who are worthy of our gift, but it is to be like Christ to give generously to those who are not. We give in order to honor others for their work. We give because we truly want to bless and thank them. But at the heart of giving, is the desire to glorify God by obeying His commandment to love others, whether they deserve it or not. We give as Jesus gave Himself to all who were undeserving of His love.
Luke 6:38 Give and it will be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.
Jesus’ command comes with a silver lining. If we treat others generously, graciously and kindly, these qualities will come back to us in full measure. Our receiving will be in proportion to our giving. So let’s not hold back! A generous reward is awaiting those who obey the Father and give of themselves in love to others. Let Christ Jesus be our living example, who did not refrain from giving Himself for us and in return received the highest honor from His Father.
‘Heavenly Father, help me to mirror the selfless love of Jesus. Show me how and where to show this selfless love to others in acts of kindness. Please direct me to another I can encourage today, so that they might see the generosity and goodness of Christ through me. Amen.’