"A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed." - Proverbs 11:25 (NIV)
I once heard someone say that If you aren't doing anything to make a situation better, you're an obstacle to change.
I often take the bus to Baltimore from New York City because my mom lives there. One evening on the bus, the driver abruptly pulled over onto the shoulder of the highway.
Everyone on the bus started looking around and waiting for answers, but the bus driver didn't say anything. A few minutes later, the bus was moving again but we got off the next exit.
I assumed we were headed to a gas station, but I was wrong. The bus driver suspiciously drove us through a residential neighborhood. It was pitch black outside, and we couldn't see a thing. I felt like I was in the middle of a horror movie.
Where is she taking us? After about twenty minutes of driving through a bunch of creepy neighborhoods, I checked my phone's GPS and saw that we were going the right way. We were taking the scenic route.
As we got closer to the bus stop in Baltimore, we were back on the highway. We were an hour behind schedule, but I was happy to finally get off the bus.
Unfortunately, that didn’t happen. The bus driver accidentally missed the exit for the bus stop.
Almost in unison, people on the bus screamed, "What the heck!" And I laughed to myself. I mean, at that point, all you really could do was laugh.
What is the bus driver doing? Is she not paying attention to her GPS? I had so many questions that I wanted answers to, but I remained seated.
The woman sitting across the aisle from me asked the lady next to her for the name of the location that we were supposed to get off at. When the lady told her, she ran to the driver with her phone in hand.
She came back about fifteen minutes later, and I overheard her explain to another lady what was going on.
The route we were on was not the bus driver's normal route. She made a detour through the residential neighborhood because she received a notification that there was an accident on the highway. The bus driver didn't have a GPS and had to call the person who's route she was covering to ask for directions.
I was eavesdropping on the woman's conversation with her friend, and something she said struck me like an arrow. "The bus driver needed help. Everyone has their phones out trying to figure out what she's doing, but not one person got up to ask her if she needed help."
She was right.
The woman taught me a very valuable lesson: always have a "how can I help you" mentality. I knew that I should've gotten up to find out what was going on and offered my assistance if needed, but I stayed seated like everyone else.
Who knows, maybe we would've even gotten to Baltimore faster if I offered my help. What I do know is that I chose not to participate in a solution, and therefore I was a part of the problem.
"A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed."
- Proverbs 11:25
People shouldn’t have to ask for help for it to be offered to them.
As you give your time and resources to generously help others, you'll see generosity being returned to you in ways you couldn't even imagine. You will reap what you sow.
Often through parables, Jesus taught his disciples the importance of giving.
The Unsuspecting Giver: Luke 8:1–15
The Compassionate Giver: Luke 10:25-37
The Fake Giver: Luke 18:22
The Transformed Giver: Luke 19:8
Let’s use these examples as a reminder of the kind of giver God wants us to be.
Generosity is a lifestyle that needs to be cultivated. The more you practice a "how can I help you" mindset, the more it will become second nature to you.
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