Tag Archives: Ruth

Gleaning with a Grateful Heart

After unpacking how to Give-as-you-go, I realize there is another important quality we can practice from the book of Ruth: gleaning.

As I mentioned before, gleaning is the “gathering of extra.” One of my college ladies pointed out that Ruth had an incredible attitude as she was gleaning. She was grateful, kind, confident, and unselfish. (Read Ruth 2 for more).

One way or another, we are all gleaning from someone. Have you ever received

  • hand-me-down clothes/furniture?
  • tips?
  • free tutoring?
  • someone paying for your meal or coffee?
  • advice?

When someone tries to offer me this, I tend to be unreceptive. Depending on the gift, I end up in one of these categories:

  • Self-entitled (well I deserved that anyway). I tend to do this with good grades or positive critiques on my hard work.
  • Reluctant (I don’t want to impose). When someone offers to open the door, or help carry my groceries, I hesitate.
  • Prideful (I don’t need your “charity”). My self-reliance rears its ugly head when it comes to paying for a meal.
  • Snobbish (that gift wasn’t all that super). I don’t often receive a sermon, teaching, or study material that I don’t connect with. I think, “I’ve heard better,” and dismiss the entire content.

I am very ashamed to admit all of these. Sure, I can be good at giving my stuff, time, money, and space… but I need to learn to receive well. Ruth was  grateful, not demanding or pushy. She didn’t reject Boaz’s gift. Nor did she put it all aside for someone less fortunate (though she did save some for her mother-in-law).

My goal is to glean with the right heart. I want to have a teachable spirit when I listen to a sermon. I want to have a grateful heart when someone offers to pay for my meal. I would like to be graceful and respectful when a person holds the door for me. My humility should shine, like Ruth’s, when God uses others to care for me.

I cannot think of a better way to describe Ruth’s heart, and the one I hope to have, than this quote (by former basketball player John Wooden):

gleaning

There you have it. Give-as-you-go, and glean-with-a-grateful-heart. That’s how I am asking God to grow me this season. How about you?

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Give as you Go: Time

teach us to count the days

The lyrics above always strike a chord with me. Yesterday, we talked about giving our extra money. Today we are looking at how we can give our time away.

Again, I am a HUGE advocate of giving a specific dedication of your time. For instance, Shane and I have taken much of his vacation time to go on missions trips or serve at a youth camp… not the ideal “vacation” but totally worth it.

What we are talking about here is Give-as-you-go. God taught me a lot about this concept this week as I was on my way to pick up pizza. I have been around people every hour of every day for the entire weekend. When we decided to order pizza for our college Bible study, my first thought was “finally, some alone time as I pick up the pizza.”

But the Holy Spirit prompted me to invite a student to tag along.

Friends, I got to share the gospel with this person. I was so blessed to enjoy an open conversation about God, salvation, and purpose with this individual who has not yet surrendered Christ. It was incredible! My driving buddy didn’t accept Jesus then, but told me (s)he was definitely more open to it!

2 Corinthians 9:6-8
Now this I say, he who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must do just as he has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed.

God has provided PLENTY of extra in our life. He promises it! Just as Boaz ensured his leftovers would provide for Ruth and other gleaners (Ruth 2), we to can help others from our abundance.

Try it out!

Give-as-you-go… and let someone else reap the benefits. You might get a few too along the way. (Hey, Boaz ended up with a loving bride in the end 🙂 )

Be conscious of your “wasted” time, and use it to encourage someone.

  • Get to know other people at the laundromat. (I have built 2 significant friendships by sharing my faith while waiting on the laundry.)
  • Instead of reading junk-magazines in the grocery line, ask the person behind you how their week is. Find the positive and encourage them to keep up the good work.
  • Prayerfully wait for a God-opportunity to meet a perfect stranger. Smile, and ask, “is there anyway I can pray for you today?” If they are receptive, offer to pray for them, right then and there. If you notice they are still receptive, offer your card or email address so you can keep in touch with how that prayer request is going.
  • While you are endlessly scrolling through Facebook, use community Facebook groups (upcycle) to notice the “foreigner” in your community. Who just moved here and still feels like an outsider? Who is asking for mechanic suggestions or a good daycare? Send them a “welcome to the town” message and offer to meet them for lunch. Perhaps they would even join you for church.

Do you have another suggestion? Add to the conversation by commenting below.

Come back later this week for practical tips on learning “give-as-you-go” with your space.

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The Art of Giving and Gleaning

I have been studying Ruth this week with my FANTASTIC college ladies Bible Study.

Something that really stood out to us this week was the concept of gleaning.

According to Merriam-Webster, to glean is:

to gather grain or other material that is left after the main crop has been gathered.

In Leviticus, God gave His people special instructions to care for the needy in their communities:

giving and gleaning

In Ruth 2, we see that Ruth is taking advantage of this provision to provide for herself and her mother-in-law. Boaz greatly blessed Ruth and Naomi by obeying this command.

It got me thinking:

How can we honor this concept in our culture today?

We live in a get-as-much-as-you-can society. Even our poor are richer than the average poor worldwide. Aside from the political or sometimes justified misgivings about providing for the poor, we are still commanded to do so.

I fully support taking time off for missions trips and serving inner-city soup kitchens. I think Christ-followers should be eager to do these ministries as well.

Unfortunately, I think many of us give in a “big” way, then check it off our lists. I believe God wants us to incorporate giving, which is part of our worship of him, into our hourly lives.

We need to recognize the art of giving as you go. There is a time and place for grand gestures. But this practice is rather a simple letting-go of our cash, time, or space.

Join me this week to explore some practical ways to leave our cash (money), time, and space, so others can glean from them.

Coming soon: Join the discussion on how to GLEAN with a right attitude.

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