Those who are generous are blessed, for they share their bread with the poor. Proverbs 22:9 (NRSV)
As an only child, many people erroneously believed that I received anything my heart desired. My parents were and are very generous in giving to me, but I did not get everything I ever wanted. As an only child, I also did not have to share with an older sister or younger brother as in families where there are several children.
Consequently within my home, I did not have to share my toys with brothers or sisters. If there was one piece of cake left, I did not have to divide it … I could have it all. I did not have to take turns when watching television programs, unless it was with my parents.
Even though I came from living in a family where I did not have to share with a sibling, my parents taught me to share. So when a friend or friends came over, I shared my toys, I shared the piece of cake, I allowed him or them to choose the television program we would watch. I allowed him or them to suggest what toys or games we would play.
Early on in our growth and development, it is important to learn how to share what we have. It is also important that we learn how to be sensitive and compassionate. Just recognizing another’s need is not enough if we can in some way respond so as to alleviate that person’s distress.
As members of First Presbyterian Church in Winter Haven, we respond to the poor by sharing our bread. Through our gifts to Three Cents a Meal, we feed people who come to our doors Monday through Saturday with our bag lunches and a wonderful meal at our Saturday Soup Kitchen. There are many organized charities that provide food to which we can contribute as well as those we see on sidewalks, in parking lots or in the medians of the road.
O God, parenting is not an easy task. Even doing what they believe to be the best for their children, parents make mistakes. Parents and children need to be forgiving. Encourage parents with the words of Proverbs and help children to profit by the examples of their parents and the lessons taught by them, so that when they are old they will not stray. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.