“And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.”
Growing up in a small town, you were in the minority if you didn’t get an article from Tom Hiller (my dad).
My dad is the type of guy that gets up at five in the morning every day, even if there isn’t a bonafide reason to do so. Every morning during my school years I got up early with my dad to eat breakfast, do our daily devotions, and read the newspaper. Without fail, every morning when I entered the kitchen the paper was marked up with a pen.
“Tim – Read”
“TIM” (with arrow pointing to circled article)
“Save for Sally”
“Send to Mike”
My dad’s annotations were all over the place. Then, when my parents were done with the paper, he would either cut out the articles and mail them to people, or walk them to their house and stick them in the mailbox.
Looking back, at that stage of my life my dad’s article sharing habit was ultra-embarrassing. But as I reflect on those articles, I realize he was doing 2 things:
- He was showing me pictures of leadership and service that he wanted me to emulate. As I read the articles he selected for me, he was showing me what to do (and sometimes what not to do) and how to live and serve others. He was showing me pictures of who he desired me to become. And pictures are truly worth a thousand words.
- He was also showing other people he cared about them—that he was thinking about them and that he cared about their personal growth and development. As a child and teenager I was too immature and self-conscious to realize it—but people truly appreciated these articles my dad was sharing with them. They saw his genuine concern and interest in their lives.
The author of Hebrews exhorts us in chapter 13 to remember “to do good and share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.” My dad was truly modeling this exhortation for me—even through a simple act of sharing articles with me and others he cared about.
What jumps out at me about Hebrews 13:16 is the word “sacrifice.” Doing good and sharing with others requires sacrifice—lowering the self and elevating others. It would’ve been much easier for my dad to sleep later, skip his devotional time, and plow through the paper, only reading for his own edification. But rather he approached his time reading the paper with others in mind, rather than just himself. And if you know him—he approaches everything he does this way.
Now that I’m older, and hopefully a little wiser, I try to follow in my dad’s unselfish footsteps and share something of value with someone else—article, hand written note, blog post—at least one time a week, every week. It’s more electronic, e-mail, and social media driven than my dad’s sharing (he still mails or brings me articles every time we visit!), but I still try to carry on example of unselfish giving he always set for me.
This week let’s all show others we care by unselfishly being on the lookout for ways we can share a piece of our life with them!
IT’S YOUR TURN: Add your comments! What are some practical ways you give and share with others to show you care about them?