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Two of my favorite sayings are, “The best things in life are not things,” and “Don’t love things but love people.” Things will rust, decay, and fade away (Matthew 6:19). Things cannot love, but people can return your love. What you give of yourself will remain long after the gold is gone. You may not have wealth, but you do have much you can generously give to others. “Give, and it shall be given unto you” (Luke 6:38).

W. Clement Stone said, “Even without worldly wealth, it is possible for you to... Be generous! Give to those whom you love; give to those who love you; give to the fortunate; give to the unfortunate; and give especially to those to whom you don’t want to give. You can give them what you alone possess, and it cannot be taken away.”

The Lord promises that what you give is what you will receive. Give a smile, and you will receive a smile. Mark Twain said, “A smile is understood in all languages.” Give a kind word, and you will be appreciated.

Give hope, and you will receive hope. Give happiness, and you will receive happiness. Give encouragement, and you will be encouraged. Give cheer, and you will receive cheer.

Give kindness, and you will receive kindness. Give love, and you will receive love. Give prayers, and you will receive prayers. Give grace, and you will receive more than you deserve.

You reap what you sow! This principle can also work two ways. You get what you give. If you give hate, you will get hate. If you give criticism, you will get criticism. If you give judgment, you will get judgment. So the solution is to give what you want to receive. Do unto others as you would have others do unto you.

Your family, friends, and others need you more than any thing you have. People don’t care what you know, until they know you care. Sometimes those who need love the most are most unlovable. Everyone needs love and a hug – everyone! What you give and receive is your choice. Love does not take, but love gives.

Your presence can be worth more than your presents. William Booth, of the Salvation Army, sent a telegram to a big rally with only one word. It read “Others!” As the Lord, seek to love others. Learn to give of yourself! Be generous! Seek to be a blessing!

Send a card. Visit or call someone. Give a smile. Give a hug. Be “there” when needed. You can make a difference in the life of someone today. Remember, don’t love things, but love people. You will be glad you did, and so will others! The best things in life are not things!

Ted Camp is director of Silent Word Ministries, a worldwide ministry based in Trenton. E-mail him at TC@silentword.org.

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