Bible Reading: Philemon 1:4-6
Put your generosity to work, for in so doing you will come to an understanding of all the good things we can do for Christ. Philemon 1:6
THERE WERE ONCE two brothers who lived on neighboring farms. One brother lived on one side of the hill with his wife and children. The other brother was not married; he lived alone on the opposite side of the hill.
It happened that one year both brothers had a plentiful harvest. As the married brother’s barns started to fill with his abundant crops, he started thinking of his brother. “God is so good,” he said to himself. “Why does he bless me more than my brother? I have a loving wife and obedient children, but my brother is all alone.” He decided to wait until dark, when his brother was sleeping, to sneak over the hill and carry some of his crops to his brother’s fields. He’ll never know the difference, he figured.
At the same time the unmarried brother sat alone in his house, thinking. “God is so good,” he said. “But why has he blessed me so much? My brother has greater needs than I do; he has a wife and children to feed, and I have only myself to take care of.” So he decided to wait until dark, then sneak into his brother’s fields with as much of his crops as he could carry. He’ll never know the difference, he reasoned.
So both brothers waited until dark. Then, assuming the other brother to be asleep, each went to his own fields, loaded his shoulders high with grain, and turned toward his brother’s farm. Each performed his task and returned to his home. The next day each brother was amazed to discover that he still had as much grain as the night before!
This went on for several nights, until one night they met each other as they carried their gifts over the crest of the hill. Suddenly, each man realized what had been happening—each had been thinking only of his brother and not of himself. And they dropped their loads there on the top of the hill and embraced, crying tears of joy and love.
REFLECT: The story of the two brothers illustrates the fact that generosity brings joy and blessing into our life. How would the story be different if the two brothers had been stingy with their crops instead of generous? Try writing your own version of “The Two Brothers,” depicting how the results would have been different if they had displayed greed instead of generosity.
PRAY: “God, you are so good, and you have given me so many blessings. Help me to put my generosity to work so I can understand all the good things I can do for Christ.”