Often it is in life where one feels to be of service. There is a quote from the Bible which says "when you give a gift, don't let your right hand know what the left hand gives." Do we give to be noticed or for accolades from heaven? Or, simply because it is a wonderful and good thing to do!
Many would affirm that in true healthy 'giving for the right reasons' brings one a most exquisite joy -- not to mention what value it brings to the recipients.
This Examiner was present at a recent lesson given on this very topic of 'service in giving' from an old friend, Abraham:
A wealthy woman, who lived in a beautiful home, surrounded by beautiful things and servants, found it satisfying to donate her money to a children's orphanage. Every year she wrote out her check with the thoughts of, "yes, I am making a difference in the lives of these children." She would attend her high society functions wearing her beautiful gowns, and tell her wealthy friends about her good deeds and how they also should share their good fortune.
She was a bit closed minded however when it came time to accept an invitation from the orphanage to visit so they could thank her. Having grown up wealthy she knew not the restrictions of poverty. She was spoiled and was taught that she was of high importance. She treated her fellows with an arrogance that said ‘most individuals were beneath her.’ There were trusted servants in the home, but not one of them liked her nor were they so much loyal to her. They did not do their best performance in serving her. Her own friends found her personality barely tolerable, but because of her wealth, she had earned a certain status among them. They found her pompous and disloyal. Not one of them called her a true friend.
This wealthy woman finally reluctantly accepted the orphanage's invitation. After all, she thought, she had well deserved their gratitude for all she had done for them. A few minutes inside the orphanage she saw the children's living conditions as impoverished. They wore used clothes, and even though they had done their best to prepare for her visit, she found the conditions way beneath her. A child had taken her hand and led her to a small table and chairs where they had been doing some art. The little girl told a story of living in a home where she had been abused and neglected.
The wealthy woman most definitely wanted to flee. She could not bear the pain in the girls face. A small boy had joined them and began to read her his poem. How mature this small boy had sounded, for he had experienced a lot in his life. The woman had visited with the children for a few hours, and in every child's face she had seen the eyes of God, and knew that from this day forward she would be changed. On her way home she felt ridiculous, seeing that her money had made little difference, but her visit with the children had completely changed her life.
The woman made many more visits to the orphanage and each time had begun to change in heart and mind, in personality and character. Her soul was literally expanding. The children had grown to love her and she them. She became truly philanthropic – with her time and love. She learned to overlook financial status. She disregarded any high society position she held. She made true friends, friends who had seen the goodness within the woman. Her servants were treated like family and with the highest respect. They in turn took her in as one of their own.
The change of this wealthy woman came when she had given up all she had believed in and was open to the evidence that God exists. The giving of herself aided her in her own growth and put meaning into her life. Fancy functions were completely dull compared to cookies and punch served by the kids. She had begun out on a journey of self-aggrandizement and ended up on a journey glorifying Father through truly good works.
You see, when you can serve it is to your own benefit. You are made to grow. The evidence of growth is a glorification to Father. It is a commitment to Him, showing your efforts to find Him. To reveal God within is evidence of Light and Life. [WCT_Abraham_5/22/2000]