There was a farmer who grew the best corn in his State. Every year at the State Fair he won the award for the best-grown corn. One year a newspaper reporter interviewed him and learned something interesting about how he managed to have such excellent corn year after year. The reporter discovered that the farmer shared his seed corn with his neighbors. “How can you afford to share your best seed corn with your neighbors when they are entering corn in competition with yours each year?” the reporter asked.

“Why sir,” said the farmer, “Didn’t you know? The wind picks up pollen from the ripening corn and swirls it from field to field. If my neighbors grow inferior corn, cross-pollination will steadily degrade the quality of my corn. If I am to grow good corn, I must help my neighbors grow good corn.”

So is with our lives … Those who want to live meaningfully and well must help enrich the lives of others, for the value of a life is measured by the lives it touches. And those who want to stay happy must help others find happiness, for the welfare of each, is bound up with the welfare of all.

King Solomon made it clear that those who are kind to others end up benefiting themselves while being cruel to others can only bring ruin back upon you.1 And the wise young man named Daniel said that people who live exemplary lives will shine brilliantly like the stars on a cloudless night. And those who cause others to find the right path because of their light will become stars themselves.2

That’s why the Apostle Paul wrote his young protegé Timothy and told him that if you want to be known as a good person, you must not just talk about it but do something to show that you are good. And the best way to prove that you are good is to be generous and ready to share whatever you have without being asked.3 After all, God didn’t ask if we wanted Him to sacrifice His Son so that we could escape everlasting death. No, He did it before we could even think about it and then offered us everlasting life freely.

When God looks for people who are really generous and willing to share, He’s not waiting to see if they give in a love offering at church or donate things they no longer need to charity, He expects that of us. But what really impresses Him is when we spontaneously give without being asked because it comes from a heart that is full of unselfishness. There may not be much in our hand to share, but its what’s in our heart we can give to others that makes God happy.4 Dr. Robert R. Seyda

1Proverbs 11:17

2Daniel 12:3

31 Timothy 6:18

4Luke 21:1-4

About drbob76

Retired missionary, pastor, seminary professor, Board Certified Chaplain and American Cancer Society Hope Lodge Director.
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