Is it really more blessed to give than to receive?
Over the last few years I’ve had the privilege of visiting Israel several times, seeing the Holy Land sites and meeting Messianic believers. You can’t really visit Israel without spending time floating in the Dead Sea and enjoying a boat ride on the Sea of Galilee. I’ve done both, and they really are an incredible experience! Try as you might in the Dead Sea, you just cannot sink. The high mineral content means you can lay on your back and simply float around. A boat trip on the Sea of Galilee, with the engine turned off in deep water, aware of the stillness or perhaps singing a worship song along with the other passengers, or perhaps listening to the story of Jesus calming the storm, ranks as an all time memorable moment.
Scientists point out a remarkable difference between the Dead Sea and the Sea of Galilee. The mineral content in the Dead Sea is so high that you will not see any living creature or organism in its water - no fish, no aquatic mammals, no insects, no plants or weeds; nothing, thats why its called The Dead Sea! The Sea of Galilee, however, is full of life - you will see plenty of fishermen on the Sea just as in the time of Jesus.
Both the Dead Sea and the Sea of Galilee receive plenty of water flowing in from streams and creeks, but only the Sea of Galilee has streams and tributaries running out of it. So effectively, the Sea of Galilee doesn’t just receive life-giving water, it gives it away too.
There’s a life lesson in the difference between those two Seas. Life can become stagnant and empty if all we do is simply keep to ourselves the blessings and gifts we have received. In order to be truly fruitful and alive, the simple practice of giving is even more important than the practice of getting!
John Wesley, the founder of the Methodist movement, was preaching in the countryside one day about money to a bunch of farmers. His first point was ‘Get all you can’ and one farmer whispered to his friend ‘That’s good’. Wesley’s second point was ‘Save all you can’, and the farmer whispered to his buddy ‘Even better’. Wesley’s final point was ‘Give all you can’ and the farmer leant over to his friend and sighed ‘Now he’s gone and spoilt it’.
Talking about giving at first glance might not be the type of ‘feel-good’ message we want to hear, but actually the practice of giving is such a rewarding way to live spiritually, financially, and practically. In Acts chapter 20, Paul reiterates the words of Jesus when he states ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ If you doubt that, go visit Israel, check out the Dead Sea and the Sea of Galilee and see for yourself.!