It started out innocently enough. I’d picked up some Starburst jellybeans at the after-Easter sale at Walmart. Because I’m a dental hygienist, I seldom eat candy, (Note: chocolate isn’t candy; it’s a food group) but the Starburst jellybeans were hard to pass up, especially at half-price.
Sitting down at my computer, I had just poured a handful onto the table and tucked the bag away when I heard my daughter’s footsteps.
In an instant, I was a stingy 10-year-old again, trying to hide my favorite candy from my sisters. I scooped up the handful of jellybeans and slid them into my pocket so fast they didn’t even have time to stick to my sweaty palms. I was gazing innocently into my blank computer screen when my daughter passed through on her way outside.
When the coast was clear again, I pulled out the jellybeans and popped a few into my mouth. Proverbs 9:17 flashed through my mind, "Stolen water is sweet; food eaten in secret is delicious!"
Then I tasted the pocket lint. *Blech!* Those jelly beans came out of my mouth so fast the color was still on them. And so was the lint.
Shamed, I was instantly convicted of my selfishness and embarrassed to have received such swift correction. Jellybean selfishness is a relatively minor thing, but I knew it was a symptom of my heart attitude.
When I act selfishly, I forget that everything good in my life comes from God (James 1:17). And since God has given generously to me, I should follow his example and give generously to others. When I choose to be generous, Scripture says, I will enjoy blessings that far exceed whatever selfish pleasure I can grab for myself.
Proverbs 11:25 says, “A generous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed.” I know this is true. On good days, when I share with an abundant hand, I receive more pleasure than I would have if I’d kept the blessing for myself. Those with whom I share are usually grateful, and even if they’re not, I know God is smiling at me. His thumbs up is worth more than an Easter basket full of jellybeans.
I’ve also noticed that when I share liberally, blessings seem to circle back around to me. This doesn’t happen when I give with ulterior motives, because I can never manipulate God’s blessings, but when I share from a grateful heart, God always takes care of me.
“Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you" (Luke 6:38).
So what’s it going to be? A few jellybeans heavily coated in pocket lint, or God’s gracious plenty, wrapped in a smile?
When have you chosen to refresh someone else and found joy in the doing? I’d love to hear your story. Leave a comment below and join the conversation.
Lori Hatcher is the author of the blog, Hungry for God; Starving for Time, where she provides twice-weekly doses of spiritual nutrition for busy people. Like a spiritual power bar, Lori's devotions will nourish your soul on the go when you don't have time for a spiritual meal. To subscribe, click here.
Did you know that Lori has a devotional book for homeschooling moms, Joy in the Journey.
With a devotional for every week of the school year, JITJ has application questions, an action step, and a prayer. It's suitable for your own devotional reading or for use by a support group for meeting ideas.
No school year is complete without it!
For more information and to read what other homeschooling moms are saying about Joy in the Journey, click here.
To order a paperback copy, click here.