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Blessing Others By Giving Back

Ask God to show you where you can be a blessing, and He will.

blessing others by giving back
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I’ve been going to church since I was a baby, and in all of those services, I’ve never had a pastor distribute offering baskets full of money to give AWAY–until last month.

It was a normal Sunday morning at the Bedford (Indiana) First Church of God (BFCOG) until Pastor Travis Inman announced the “reverse offering,” explaining that every person should take one sealed envelope from the offering baskets. Each envelope was filled with either $5, $10, $20, $50 or $100.

The only stipulation?

Use the money to be a blessing in someone’s life.

We were also instructed not to open our envelopes until we left the building. I had to laugh at the little boy in front of us, holding up his envelope to the light, desperately trying to find out which dollar amount he had received. Of course, truth be known, I wanted to do the same thing.

When we got to our car, Jeff and I and our girls opened our envelopes–we’d all received $5 bills. Jeff and I decided to pool ours and buy baking ingredients so I could make something yummy and be a blessing in that way.

Later that week, I baked three dozen blueberry muffins and took them to our local newspaper office–the place where I began my journalism career–a place that had invested much in me. It was my turn to give back, and it felt so good!

A blessing of flowers!Over the course of that week, people shared their testimonies of how they had used their “Blessed to be a Blessing” money on the BFCOG Facebook page, while others emailed their testimonies to Pastor Travis. The whole City of Bedford, Indiana, seemed to be abuzz about the “Blessed to be a Blessing” project.

The following Sunday, Pastor Travis shared several of the testimonies. One person had been blessed by reading the book 90 Minutes in Heaven, so he bought another copy with his $10 and gave it to a person God had laid on his heart.

He wrote inside the book about the “Blessed to be a Blessing” project and asked that the book continue to be shared–sort of the blessing that keeps on bless-ing.

Another wrote that she used her money to buy a new pair of pants for a young man out of work and who needed new clothes for a job interview.

One testimony after another, Pastor Travis shared how the congregation members of BFCOG had made an impact on the community. And, then he said, “Wouldn’t it be amazing if we embraced that Blessed to be a Blessing mentality every day? What kind of impact would that make in the Kingdom of God?”

I thought about his words all the way home. Finally I said, “Jeff, why don’t we embrace that ‘Blessed to be a Blessing’ mentality every day? At the very least, what if we did something every week to be a blessing to someone?”

“I don’t see why we couldn’t,” he said.

And, so we were in agreement that as the Lord directed, we would be obedient to carry out “Blessed to be a Blessing” deeds–not just when it was a directive of our church but as a way of life.  

After all, that’s what God wants us to do.

Philippians 2:4 says, Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others. (NKJV)

And, Matthew 5:16 says, In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father. (NLT)


I’ve heard it preached many times that we should live to give, but for some reason, this particular “Blessed to be a Blessing” campaign ignited that “live to give” spark inside me in a way I hadn’t ever experienced before, so I’m here to fan that “live to give” flame nside you.

Need some “blessing” ideas? Here are five to get you started:

1)  Offer to do yard work for your elderly neighbor–mowing the lawn, picking weeds, etc.

2)  Pay for the person’s order behind you in line at Starbucks.

3)  Write a thank you note and tell your local police force and firefighters how much you appreciate all that they do for your community, and maybe bless them with several dozen cookies from your local bakery.

4)  Send flowers to a single mom this Mother’s Day, letting her know that God adores her and that she’s doing a great job.

5)  Instead of walking past that homeless person this week, why not give him a bag of groceries, a devotional book and a Bible?

Ask God to show you where you can be a blessing, and He will.

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