I remember sitting on the balcony with a friend and mentor of mine, talking about the ways of the world. We had been discussing an obscure and often debated passage in Scripture, 2 Corinthians 8, and it was quite revelatory.
Moreover, brethren, we do you to wit of the grace of God bestowed on the churches of Macedonia; How that in a great trial of affliction the abundance of their joy and their deep poverty abounded unto the riches of their liberality.In essence, the passage Paul writes about those who had virtually nothing but yet were immeasurably blessed and more than willing to give all that they had. Not exactly something that any of us really relish because we are, by nature, selfish.
Things have been tough all around and the lesson I learned from that conversation with my friend had somehow been tucked away in the deep recesses of my mind until recently. You've heard the term, "pay it forward," but analyzing that conversation and the lesson I learned, I don't know that even that is the right attitude to have. I would say that the lesson really lies in the reality that we should simply give without expecting a return. Like the church in Macedonia, the blessings received are ancillary to the blessings of simply giving.
Just a thought...