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Pay It Forward

~~ Matthew 7:12  (NIV84) So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.



by Carley Cooper

Homemade Baked Goods to Give at Christmas
Photo by Carley
Have you ever seen a movie called “Pay It Forward”?  The synopsis of this film is a young boy (Haley Joel Osment) who launches a good-will movement.  It is all about passing on the blessings that have been received to the next person.  Imagine how quickly the whole country could be ‘covered’ if every single person were to do a kind deed for 3 people this week.  I do not know the stats on this thought, but I am sure that it would not take long before every person in the country would have received a kind deed from someone.  Now, imagine it spreading to all of North America, then to Europe; and the whole world.  What a wonderful place it would be.

This idea is not a new one.  Jesus gave us what we now call The Golden Rule; “Do to others as you would have them do to you.” (Luke 6:31 NIV84).  In our society today, though, it seems that this concept has been all but forgotten.   We live in a society that is all about focusing on our own happiness and instant gratification instead of the well being of others.  One of the greatest gifts we can receive in our lives comes in the form of giving to others.  I would like to think that nothing I could be given would feel as good as seeing the happy face of someone else that I just helped in some way.  My heart is always filled with so much excitement as I pass on a blessing to another person.  Waiting to see the reaction feels a little like the anticipation one feels, as a child, when you were waiting for Christmas morning to come.  Re-learning to share love with each other is something that we need to make a priority in our lives. 

Here are some ways that I have shared love; and others have shared with me:
  1. Not too long ago, in a supermarket, I was looking over some baskets of kiwi that were on sale looking for a good quality batch.   A little old lady came by and asked me what it was.  She had never seen kiwi before.  I explained to her that it is a very tasty fruit that is green on the inside; and is very good for you.  Some people like to eat the brown fuzzy peels, while others do not.  She was very happy with my input and thanked me for telling her about kiwi.  It made me feel very good to know I helped this wonderful woman.  It really did ‘make my day’!  (On a side note: eating the peels will increase your fibre intake up to three times, not to mention the extra nutrients and antioxidants.  Wash and cut a kiwi into pieces, with peels on, and mix into yogurt or a fruit salad and the juices soften the peels.  Very tasty and very healthy!)
  2. I helped a friend do some painting in her house when she was preparing it to put it on the real-estate market.
  3. I found out I was moving only 4 days before the moving day.  I spent those few days preparing; packing, arranging for utilities and various services, movers, and much more.  By the end of the day, on moving day, I was exhausted to say the least.  I needed dinner.  The cookware was packed somewhere in the mountain of boxes, and I had no energy left to dig it out.  My wonderful friend came over; with her own food and cookware, and made me dinner. 
  4. I do not have a car right now.  Because of this, I have a few friends that give me rides whenever I need them.  They take me to church, grocery shopping, to appointments; and more.  I love them dearly for it.  To them, “it’s nothing”.  To me, it is a wonderful ministry that I am very thankful for.  One day when I get a car, I intend on making it a ministry of my own to ‘pay forward’ all the years I have been given rides by my family and friends; by giving rides to others who need them.
  5. My family has a habit of inviting others to spend Christmas with us.  At least one of us is always bound to show up with a guest for the holidays.  Our attitude has always been “the more, the merrier”.  Last year, I invited a special friend from Toronto who would have spent Christmas alone.  We welcomed him into our celebration; placed gifts for him under the tree, and had a very fun holiday that everyone will remember.
  6. My parents were superintendents in a large senior’s apartment building.  One year we realized that many of these tenants did not have anyone to spend Christmas with.  So we planned a huge Christmas dinner and invited all those who would have been alone otherwise.  My Mom, my sister-in-law, two of my Aunts, and myself; cooked and prepared dinner (and all the fixings) for approximately 40 people.  It was a lot of work, but it is one of my most treasured Christmas memories ever.
  7. I gave someone the book that helped me get past my divorce; when he found himself in the same situation.
  8. I have a friend that comes to my apartment now and then with a movie; and sometimes dinner, to keep me company.  This is something that I very much appreciate as a single person living alone; who suffers from Bipolar Disorder.
  9. My new-apartment building does not allow dogs.  I have some friends that have been taking care of my dog for me in the past year as a result of this.  Without the incredible generosity of my beautiful friends I would be left in a terrible bind.  However, I never give up faith that God will find a way to reunite me and my baby.  
  10. A wonderful person from my church family; who is unknown to me, left a card of encouragement for me in my mail slot at church during a time when I needed some support.  I keep it pinned to my message board at home where I can see it and be reminded that God, and my church family love me.
How have you shared love with someone lately?  What gifts and blessings can you pass on to someone else?  As children of God; we are called to be like Jesus.  God wants us to share the love, so that other people will see Jesus in us.  He is the most selfless, giving, loving person there has ever been.  God wants us to develop our character to be like that of His Son, who was willing to be a sacrifice in order for us to be saved.  There has never been a greater ‘Pay It Forward’ gift?!

CHALLENGE for YOU:  Try to ‘pay it forward’ by doing 3 good deeds for someone this coming week; then come  back here and share your stories with everyone in the comment section below.



 ~~ Dear God ~~    Your ways are so wonderful that I never cease to be amazed.  The gift of giving is the perfect reward.  By giving selflessly, I am rewarded in return.  Please help me to always find incredible loving joy in giving to others.  Let others always see a reflection of Jesus in me each time I ‘pay it forward’.  Never let a week go by in my life where I do not bless someone in some way.  In Jesus name, AMEN.



34 comments :

  1. MOTTAMAMALOUSeptember 12, 2011

    You are so right! It's the little things that count.

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  2. Thanks MOTTAMAMALOU. God is so wonderful. Whether we are giving or receiving little things, we are blessed. Thanks for the feedback. Hugs.

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  3. great reminder of how we can live our lives so simply but kindly.

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  4. Thank you so much STORMFAN for the feedback. How wonderful the world would be if we all just were a little kinder to the next person when we had the chance. So often we are just in such a hurry we completely miss great opportunities to be kind to someone. Hugs.

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  5. Share the extra vegetables or flowers with a neighbor. We take all the extra produce from the garden to church to share with the older members of the congregation. Last weekend we
    took 24 dozen eggs so SIL could share with her friends. So easy to do!

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  6. OM gosh... MSLZZY that is such an awesome idea! It reminds me of the church my parents go to. At Thanksgiving everyone brings produce and puts around the alter. Afterward it gets donated to a local food bank or soup kitchen. It would work just as well though to donate it to members of your own church family who are in need. I know people in our church are surely in need. Thanks for that awesome feedback. Hugs!

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  7. Yes that is such a nice thing to do, little things do matter.

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  8. Thanks MOEE45 for the feedback. So often it's the little things from others that remind me about the big things. I like to think that maybe I can do the same for others. Hugs.

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  9. My husband has become a long haul driver, so his church has helped me a fair amount when he is on the road. Last week his bishop asked me if I could help with a food drive the church was doing, so I bought 2 bags of groceries and gave it to them.

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  10. Sharing and caring!

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  11. Denise, that's an awesome thing to do. Every once in a while, our local newspaper, along with all the flyers, includes a paper bag with information about the local food bank. The idea is to get people to fill the bag and drop off at the local food bank. Sometimes my parents fill the bag and give it to someone in our family that needs it just as much. It is such a big help just to have one extra bag of food when you don't have any money. It's a little thing to them, but a big thing to someone else. I've often filled the paper bag just with things that I have in my pantry that I never want to use. I figure why waste it. Just pass it on. Hugs.

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  12. I enjoy reading your blogs and encouraging us to respond in faith to be better people. Pay it forward is a great challenge for all of us to live daily. Your prayer for us in incredible: May we learn to give selflessly and sacrificially.

    While listing these actions in your blog can serve as an educational tool, it is even better when we are giving in response of God’s great and abiding love, mercy and grace, while we love our neighbor, help people in need, pray, and fast without the need for personal accolades. God’s grace should motivate us to a greater love for our Savior and others.

    Hope you have a great and blessed week!

    Ephesians 2:10
    For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

    Matthew 6:1-18

    Giving to the Needy
    1 “Be careful not to do your ‘acts of righteousness’ before men, to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.
    2 “So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. 3 But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4 so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.

    Prayer
    5 “And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. 6 But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. 7 And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. 8 Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.
    9 “This, then, is how you should pray:

    “‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, 10 your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. 11 Give us today our daily bread. 12 Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. 13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.
    14 For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.

    Fasting
    16 “When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show men they are fasting. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. 17 But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, 18 so that it will not be obvious to men that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.

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  13. Evelyn, thank you so much for the feedback. You are always so inspirational. Hugs.

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  14. I hadn't heard of the film and will look into finding a copy to watch.

    As for kiwi peels: I'm always looking for ways to up the fiber intake - and had no idea you could eat the peels! I'm going to give that a try, as I have kiwi nearly every day.

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  15. KASEYCOFF - Thanks for the feedback. I'm happy that my fibre tip helped you. I've wondered about kiwi peels myself for years. I'm always reading lots of books and articles about how to improve on my health knowledge. I read an article a while back about all the edible parts of food that we throw away most of the time. I was surprised at some of the things that are actually edible. Yesterday, I read another article about edible flowers that most people are not aware they can eat. I'm thinking a salad with flowers in it would be very tasty! Hugs.

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  16. I used to carry quarters in my pocket and if I saw a parking meter about to expire,or already expired.......I'd pop one in. Anonymously. It was my little random act of kindness......and I really ticked off a couple of MeterMaids who were about to give the car a ticket!!!

    It made me feel so good......I have to start doing it again.......

    Libby

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  17. LIBBY - Wow! That's an awesome idea! You are an angel for those people for sure. Hugs!

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  18. I don't really keep track, although I try to make a point of it on a regular basis. How successful I am or not, I really don't know.

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  19. JRSMITH775 - Our job as servents for Christ is to plant the seed. God doesn't say that we will see it grow. But as long as we plant it, than Jesus is able to make it grow. We may not see the benefits until we stand before God, but that's OK. Hugs.

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  20. Carley, Thank you!

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  21. Absolutely. It's little things as well as big that can make an impact on someone's day or even their lives. It costs nothing to reach out and offer kindness, which is often just what is needed.

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  22. PUDLECRAZY - You are so right. Big or small, it costs us nothing, but benefits are huge. Hugs.

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  23. I try to do at least one thing per day.

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  24. SEPTLEFTY - that is a very beautiful attitude to have. More people should have that goal. Thanks. Hugs.

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  25. I love doing things like that also.
    Sometimes we don't realize what a blessing it is to do what we think of as a little thing for someone.
    I know when someone does something like that for me,I am really touched.

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  26. Sparklise, thanks for the feedback. When people feel like they are completely alone in the world, the smallest smile could be all it takes to change the path they are on to a much brighter one. Hugs.

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  27. ANDERFELKERSONSeptember 14, 2011

    Making eye contact and smiling at clerks, etc when shopping is something I endeavor to do always. Service jobs are hard and pay little and those employees deserve appreciation.

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  28. Anderfelkerson, you are so right. If I have extra cash, sometimes I try to tip someone like that who normally doesn't get many tips. It really helps them feel appreciated. Hugs

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  29. Thank you RSSSLHB. I hope you are having a very blessed week. Hugs.

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  30. Today I spent another lunch break at the Humane Society just loving on the animals. I am sure this helps the workers but most of all it helps the fightened animals. It can be a sad place but I hope that the days I go there and give a rub, a pat, a gentle word to one of God's helpless creatures will encourage someone else to do the same. Whether it is in a nursing home, a hospital, someone shut in, or an animal shelter, etc. there is ALWAYS a living creature that can use some attention, a kind word, or a hug. hug

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  31. KERRYKAY3 - Thanks so much for sharing that story. I love animals so much, especially dogs. I wish I could do the same. I don't live close enough to the shelter to do that kind of volunteer work. One day when I get a car, I think I'll do that. Again, thanks for sharing your story. Hugs.

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  32. CUINPARADISEOctober 11, 2011

    Awesome!

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  33. CUINPARADISE - Thanks for the feedback. I so very much appreciate it, and I am glad you enjoyed it. Hugs.

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