Is it really more blessed to give than receive?

Acts 20:35 states, “In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive’” (emphasis mine).

I recently watched a video of a cell phone company doing a little good. They set up a giant spin wheel in the middle of a busy sidewalk. People were encouraged to come spin the wheel for a chance to win some money. The denominations ranged from $0 – $50. It took a few tries for the man to even get people to play, since most people believe there’s always a catch. First one spins. When the wheel stopped, let’s say on $40, the man handed them the cash.

But wait, there’s a catch.

There’s always a catch.

The man told the winner of the cash that they could either take the denomination of cash they landed on, or he would multiply it by 10. However, if they chose the multiply by 10 option, they had to give it away. Just hand it to someone walking on the sidewalk. No holds bar.

You know what happened? Of the 5 people who played the game (in this short clip I watched) 4 of them, without hesitation, opted to give their money away.

Pause with me for a second. You are given the opportunity to receive cash – for no effort or merit of your own – and you can either keep it or multiply it to a larger amount, but you have to give it away… what do you choose?

We live in a society wrought with bad. Media that onslaughts the watcher with negative images of society at its worst. School shootings. Natural disasters. Accidents. Brokenness. Sadness.

But when bad happens, what do we always see? Good.

We always see people giving of themselves to help their neighbors, their community, even strangers.

We always see the force of good coming against the force of bad.

We always see light warring with darkness. .

Always.

So, is it more blessed to give than receive?

Back to our game. What did you do? Did you give it away? Did you keep it? It was heartwarming to watch people who were just walking by receive envelopes of cash, just because they were chosen. Tears. Hugs. Laughter. A sense of “why did you choose me?”

It brought me to tears to watch these people be empowered to give. To be empowered to step outside of themselves and outside of their current situations and think about someone else. How often do we do that?

The spokesperson asked them each why. Why give the money away? Answers ranged from, “because I’m already blessed so much,” and, “He looked like he could use is,” to, “I don’t know her story, but I bet it’ll help her a little.”

But there’s one more catch.

All of the people who gave the money away, you know what happened? They were given the same- multiplied- by- ten- amount. They didn’t know it.

And the giver is blessed, too.

May we be a people who give extravagantly, like has been given to us, but may we recognize that there is far more blessing in the giving, than in the receiving.