It’s hard to say when it all started. I remember being a young person, hearing about generous people and feeling very inspired. I wanted to be that way, but I didn’t really know how. I think I made it a lot more difficult than it had to be. I also remember feeling intimidated by it, like that was other people’s “thing.” Was I just being trendy by doing it too? These thoughts were lies from Satan.

A vivid memory stands out of my beautiful friend Haley Lamb. It seems she has always embodied this concept of serving and giving to others. I would look at her and think, “I’ll never be that good of a person. It’s too much work.” Casually, I would pray about it. There were specific moments when someone would compliment me on a piece of clothing or jewelry and God would prompt me to give it to them. The recipient was often taken aback, making sure I knew that wasn’t their intention in paying the compliment. I knew it wasn’t, but I wanted a heart change and guess what, God did it.

Slowly but surely, my heart and eyes were opened and more sensitive to the needs of those around me. I hadn’t even seen them before! It wasn’t that I didn’t care before, I didn’t even know the needs were there. The more needs that I saw, the more I longed to fill them. Some small, some huge. Have people been changed as a result of my generosity? I’m sure they have, but the most significant change I know of has been in myself. I give out of obedience to God. He said to give to the poor and needy and He actually meant it! He meant literally go out and give someone food or water!

Sometimes, when I’ve seen a homeless person on the street or a mother in need, I’m skeptical. I wonder if they’re being honest, if it’s a scam or if they would use my money for drugs or alcohol. This thought used to keep me from blessing people. Not too long ago I was convicted about this when I was with my mom and children and we saw a family begging for money in front of Walmart. They seemed genuine, but before mom and I could make a decision about what to do, my 10 year old son piped up and volunteered to give $5 out of his own wallet. He didn’t know to be skeptical or jaded and was more generous with his own money than I would have been with it. I realized (again) that it’s not my responsibility what happens once I’ve given. My only concern is making sure that I do what I was called to do, give.

As we approach Easter, the cornerstone holiday of the Christian faith, be inspired by the One who gave it all. He gave his life for us to spare us from the same torture.  What do you have in front of you that you can give? It may be money, but it’s likely also time, love or commitment. Find a cause you can get behind. Pray that God will open your eyes to the needs around you, there are so many! If you pray this prayer, I can promise you that He will make good on it. He will give you the strength and the resources to do HIS calling- to love and give to others as He gave to us.