My laptop crashed. Traveling out-of-state, I was writing my blog for fathers when my screen went blank as the hard drive burned out. I had just installed this new drive about 8 months before. Disgusted, I felt technologically marooned until I could get home and find a solution.
Losing everything I had hung onto
Since writing is my life, I try to stay up-to-date with file backups. At home, I pulled up my backup drive with all my some-day bestselling content and found it had a glitch, too. I could hear it pinging inside. What did someone do it? Throw it against the wall? Disgusted, I went to my online backup source. I started to download all my copied files and then discovered another heartbreak—my massive backup a few months before had malfunctioned and only 1/3 of what I needed was there. So, I did the most logical thing: scream from the bottom of my lungs.
Okay, I think I actually slapped the mouse and slammed the keyboard tray. I had to find a way to get my content back. After thinking through any other sources for my writing, I realized most of it was in the hands of other people. Any of my hundreds of Bible study handouts only existed now in print. The dozens of Bible study booklets I had written were now in someone else’s home. I asked folks if they had anything I could scan for reprinting. I had to pull my stuff back off a couple websites.
Generosity: the only way to keep anything
At one point in this marathon process, I turned to my wife and said, “The only writing I have left is what I gave away.” I lost most writing I had not yet released for publication. I have found this principle to be true in many other areas of life: what you hang onto, you lose. You only keep what you give away.
After Jesus sent His disciples out to give freely, He asked them, “When I sent you without purse, and scrip, and shoes, lacked ye any thing?” (Luke 22:35). They said they lacked nothing by giving everything.
Have you been stingy with your time? Your money? Your love? Your talents? Your friendship? Your evangelism? Start giving your best. Whatever you hang onto you will lose. Give yourself for the sake of the Master, and you will receive a return in this life and abundance in the next.
“…freely ye have received, freely give” (Matthew 10:8).
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