When I was in high school, I was blessed with several teachers that cared about their students. My favorite teacher was Mrs. Myers, who taught English. She took a special interest in her students who had talent and a thirst to learn. She was a hard grader and was a no-nonsense type of person.

She found out I wanted to write and was such an encouragement. My senior year, she found an opportunity for me and several other female students to go to lunch with poetess Gwendolyn Brooks and to get a look at Otterbein University campus. We were all looking at colleges for the Fall. The campus was awesome, and the lunch was inspiring. It was fun to hear how Ms. Brooks wrote her poetry and learn some of her life story. We were able to ask her questions. What a gracious lady she was.

Because of how much Mrs. Myers had cared about me and my future, I wanted to do the same for someone else. I entered college to major in education – high school education. It ended up not working out due to a glut of English teachers at the time, but I continued to major in English. The desire to give back as a teacher is something that has always stuck with me. I have had opportunities to give back as a substitute teacher, in some of my other job opportunities and in serving at the church. I also try to teach and inspire in my writing. I believe giving back when you have been given something significant and inspiring is important.

Giving back some of what you have been given is also important when it comes to God. Since the beginning of time, people have been making sacrifices to God for what He has done for them. Sometimes, in the Old Testament people sacrificed because it was required and others because they loved God. Today we do it because we love God. We can do this in the form of monetary gifts to the church or other charities or with our time or resources such as food, clothing and other needs people may have. The important thing is to give with a grateful and loving heart.

In Genesis, Jacob had a dream about the ladder to Heaven with angels going up and down and God standing at the top. He believed he was on holy ground. He vowed that if God took care of him and blessed him, he would give 1/10 of all that was given to him back to God. Jacob was not commanded to do this, he did it willingly and with a grateful heart.

Everything we have, even if we work hard for it, is from God. He’s the One who provides the opportunities, blesses us with a salary, gives us health and well-being, and the list goes on and on. Sometimes, we get so caught up in ourselves that we forget about the One who is truly providing. Because He gives and keeps on giving, we should do the same. We all have been blessed with resources and can give back to God what God has given to us. Besides, it all belonged to Him first and was His to give in the first place.

If you are not giving back to God in some form, it is a good idea to look at what you have been given and figure out a way to do that and to do it from a heart that is cheerful and grateful. We never know whether our giving to others and to God will inspire someone else to do the same. It will also show God how much we love Him and how thankful His support is to us. God will honor our gift.

Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” Luke 6:38

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