Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Giving is Powerful - M. Laycock

Marcia Lee Laycock lives in Central Alberta Canada with her pastor husband, two golden retreivers and a six-toed cat. Her devotionals have been endorsed by Mark Buchanan and Phil Callaway. Her novel, One Smooth Stone won her the Best New Canadian Christian Author Award in 2006. The sequel will be released soon. Visit her at http://www.vinemarc.com/

Giving is powerful. I read a blog a while ago that illustrates that truth extremely well. It’s a story about a man who had a story to tell and needed an illustrator. He contacted a well known artist and told him his idea. The man did a few drawings to show what the characters could look like. The writer was astonished and asked how he could be so generous with his time and talent. The man’s response was telling. He listed a number of ‘giving opportunities’ that had come his way – times when he used his talent to help others with no thought of remuneration or compensation. In each instance it had led to other opportunities that helped grow his career and his life experience. It was obvious in the tone of that response that it was the man himself who had been blessed.

We all have to eat, pay bills, “make a living.” But we all have to give to others – give of our time and talents and person. I learned this lesson many years ago but sometimes I forget. Sometimes I grumble when the fee paid for a speaking engagement doesn’t even cover the cost of gas or when I wonder if I will ever see a royalty check from my novel. Sometimes I groan when a novel I think is poorly written hits the #1 spot on the New York Times Best Sellers list.

But then I give something away – some time, some money, some thing, even some writing – and it does something to me. Suddenly I feel a little lighter. That book on the NYT bestseller’s list doesn’t bother me so much. I smile more.

There’s something about giving that strengthens us, gives us that extra measure of grace we might need in a tense moment, provides the compassion needed to show someone that there is love in the world. It’s in giving that we are tied to one another. It’s in giving that we learn what being human really means.

There’s a popular commercial on TV these days that shows various circumstances and then quotes the cost. Cost of taxi to the airport, $50.00; cost of flight to Italy, $1500.00 ; cost of camera to record the event, 450.00; cost of the look on my best friend’s face, priceless. That’s a wise commercial. It plays on the idea that we all know the best things in life, the most important things, cannot be measured by money. They’re measured by what we give without reservation, just to benefit someone else.

Jesus knew this better than anyone. He spoke of it to tax collectors and thieves, men who were motivated by greed. He explained it to men more concerned about ‘making it’ on earth than expanding God’s kingdom. He changed their hearts and when they obeyed, they reaped the blessings. Look at Peter, for instance. He was one whose main concern was fishing to make enough to live. Until Jesus said, “follow me.” Then he became a man who healed a lame man with the words, “Silver or gold I do not have, but what I have I give you” (Acts 3:6).

What I have I give you. All of us have time, talents, gifts that we can share with the world. May we all remember the Lord’s words – “It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35b).


  1. Thank you, Marcia. It's easy to focus on career plans and forget that God calls us to give of our writing talents as well.

  2. Marcia, thank you for this reminder that we should always give, not only of our money and talents but our time as well. Giving our time for another blesses them richly when life is so incredibly fast these days.

    Others have given me time over the years and because of that I've been inspired by their gift of listening to a heart that was hurting and I have made sure I've returned the gift to them.

    Giving covers so many areas of our lives and impacts in ways we may never be aware of - but God knows.

  3. The vast majority of books, and virtually all TV programs and movies, revolve around petty, grasping, and greedy people, all apparently for the sake of "realism" and "conflict". They assume that anyone generous, moral, or giving is a hypocrite. Most books written to counter that idea have one-dimensional unbelievable characters. In my new release, Angela 1: Starting Over, I attempt to center the plot around a true-to-life teen character who really is a loving, giving sort of person. Of course most people around her resent her and she gets into big trouble. If interested, please check out the book by following the link to my website. Thanks!

  4. Thanks for reminding me that most of the world is running in the opposite direction of where God is.

  5. Marcia, thanks for sharing and reminding us of the importance of giving :-)

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  7. A very good reminder, Marcia. So often with giving our motives can also be something like 'if I give what will I receive back' type of thing. And there is a verse in scripture about givng to God that which costs me nothing. Thank you!