The More We Give
Yael Eckstein | November 24, 2023
Do not let kindness and truth leave you;
Bind them around your neck,
Write them on the tablet of your heart. — Proverbs 3:3 NASB
Hello, readers! Thanks for your many responses as to what devotional materials you would like to read. We’re going to start exploring other books of the Bible, beginning with weekly devotions from the Book of Proverbs. Enjoy!
There was once a man who wrote a letter to his rabbi because he was unhappy and needed guidance in getting his life on track. The letter read, “I need your help. I wake up every day sad and anxious. I have difficulty concentrating. I find it hard to pray. I feel that life has lost its joy and meaning. I need help.”
The rabbi delivered his reply without writing a single word. Instead, he took a red pen and circled the first word of every sentence, the word “I.”
The More We Give
The rabbi’s message was that the man’s problems stemmed from his exclusive focus on himself and his own problems. However, in order to live happy and fulfilling lives, we need to care for and help others. The happiest people in the world are the ones who make other people happy.
In Proverbs we read, “Do not let kindness and truth leave you; Bind them around your neck, Write them on the tablet of your heart.” King Solomon recognized the importance of kindness, too. By telling us to bind it to our necks and write kindness on our hearts, he was teaching us that kindness must be a major part of who we are, both inside and out.
Most people go through life asking themselves, “What’s in it for me?” However, this ultimately leads to a shallow existence and a feeling of emptiness. Life lived as “all about me” can be a very lonely experience.
Instead of asking “What about me?” we need to start asking “What about we?” What can I do to help others? How can I brighten someone else’s day? How can I make the world better for us all? How can I show someone kindness today?
In Hebrew, the word for giving, natan, is a palindrome—it can be read the same way forward or backward. This teaches us that no matter what end of giving you are on, whether you are the giver or the receiver, everyone benefits. Every time we bless others, we also receive blessings—and the more we give, the more we will receive.