Blessed to be a Blessing

…remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: “It is more blessed to give than receive.” –Acts 20:35

I can’t remember if it was the smell or the sight that first overwhelmed me. I was visiting a slum ministry in Chennai, India and had never before been confronted with true poverty. The slum bordered the city dump and to be honest, it was almost hard to tell where the dump ended and the slum began. We drove over a small bridge. Below was a canal with stagnant water. Bumping along a dirt road, we parked alongside a building that looked like it could topple at any moment. Outside of the car trash lined the road and men, women, children, dogs, chicken and goats meandered down a narrow pathway.

I met a woman whose fingers were taken by leprosy. I met a man who was blind. I met another woman who shuffled around the dirt on her hands and knees because she was paralyzed. All around the group I was traveling with, I saw and met people who were struggling each day to survive. We were taken into a building and to a room where we sat against the wall. Soon, about twenty-five men and women crammed into this small room.

Then the people began to sing, thanking the Lord for his mercy and grace. They lifted their hands and praised the Lord for the blessings they had been given. They sang about His unfailing love. At the end of their time of worship, we prepared to serve food to our new friends. This was the one meal they would have that day. I hardly knew what to do when they offered us the first plate.

We are blessed to be a blessing to others and that is what these people taught me that day. They appeared to have nothing, but as I sat there with them, I realized what they already knew. They had everything they needed. From the little they did have, they offered us everything.

God has blessed each one of us. In the spirit of Thanksgiving this week, take stock of your life and thank the Lord for all of the blessings he has given you. Then find a way to share them with others.

1. Why do we mistakenly consider blessings as only monetary goods?

2. Blessings from God come in all different forms. Pray and see how you can bless someone around you this Thanksgiving.

Psalm 67; Matthew 5:3-10; John 1:15-18

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Kelly McFadden

Kelly McFadden is a wife and mother and is part of the HomeWord daily devotional writing team. Kelly graduated from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 2000 with a degree in journalism. Following a season of playing professional volleyball and training with the US National team, Kelly returned to school and received her Masters in Christian Education from Azusa Pacific University.

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