FRIDAYS WITH FRED: LIKING & LOVING, NOT ENOUGH

Coach Crowell, I really like reading your book, Words of Hope!”

“Coach Crowell, I love reading your blog, Words of Hope!”

Thank you is my usual response. I’m grateful that what I write becomes a special blessing. However, when I am in a feisty mood, I often ask:  “If you like it so much, how many people have you shared it with?” My reasoning says when you truly like and love something, you want to share it with others who have the same need.

I vividly remember in 1966 making a deal with God to give my life to Jesus Christ on one condition, that being I would never tell another soul I had become a Christian. Frankly, I despised people who proselytize their faith at the time.

Amazingly, however, Susie’s and my love of Jesus grew so strong that within two weeks, we made an appointment to drive across Fairbanks to meet with our dearest friends for one purpose only. It was to tell them we had committed our lives to Jesus. Instinctively, we knew this was not going to be a welcoming meeting. It became a disappointing meeting. Ironically, 27 years later, while we were proclaiming Jesus as Lord at an NBC camp in Alaska, this best friend, Joe T, made the same decision. He invited Jesus to be his Lord and Savior at the camp. 

My logical brain tells me that you really don’t love something until you are willing to give it away to another, intending that it’s going to help that person be better. I back up this concept with Jesus explaining the giver always gets more than the receiver (John 21:25, Acts 20:35). In the current culture, the vast majority of people are focused on what they can get, not what they can give. Lieutenant Clebe McClary often said: “In this world of give-and-take, there are far too few people willing to give what it takes.”

If you truly want something to be yours, then give it away. If you want love to be yours, give love. If you want friendship to be yours, give friendship. If you want honesty to be yours, be honest. Whatever you give, God promises to give back 100-fold. 

What are you willing to give away today? I suggest you read II Corinthians 2:9, where Paul wrote about Christ becoming poor so we can become rich in Him. God is the giver of every good and perfect gift. The larger our giving heart, the larger the picture we paint of God’s character. Now figure out what you can give away today that can make another person a better person.

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