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Apr 29, 2013

10 Dollars

Today I payed it forward.

That's the socially accepted term for blessing others as you have been blessed. The idea is that you do something nice for someone (bless them), and they will continue to pass that something nice on to the next person (bless others). I've never set out to do anything like that, even though I try to be generous and kind to others.

This morning, on my way to work I needed to stop to fill my gas tank. I pulled up to the pump, grabbed my debit card, opened the gas cap, and turned to grudgingly pay for my thirsty gas tank to be filled at $3.39 a gallon. {Next to cleaning the bathroom and matching socks, getting gas is my least favorite chore - it hurts my wallet!} To my surprise, however, the screen simply said "Please remove nozzle." So I did. The next thing that popped up on the screen was "Prepaid: $10"

My jaw fell. I looked around for someone who was "missing" $10 in their gas tank. No one. That's when it clicked for me. Someone else put $10 on that pump for the next person who pulled in. And that person was me.

Most people don't know this about me, but I don't like accepting gifts from people, especially if it has to do with money; I never have. It's pride, plain and simple; it has nothing to do with being humble, or modest, and everything to do with being prideful. However, God blessed me with a tremendous youth pastor throughout high school, who asked me something I have never forgotten. He asked me this, "Do you truly accept the grace that God freely gives you?" And I do. Absolutely. Without that free gift of grace, I would be a complete and total mess {well, I'm still a mess, but God has covered me with His grace so it's okay}. He smiled knowingly and said "So what's the difference between that gift, and this one?" It may sound silly to you, but it totally convicted me, and that wall of pride which I had been calling "modesty" and "humbleness" cracked and completely broke. I realized that if I rejected a gift or blessing from someone, yet freely received Christ's gift and blessing of grace, and tried to force others to accept blessings which I try to give them, that I was a hypocrite. My mother-in-law says it this way: "It gives me joy to bless you in this way. Don't steal my joy by refusing my blessing. It blesses me to bless you." I'm not saying that I'm a wonderful recipient now; I still have to willingly push that inherent pride away and just say thank you and be blessed. Becoming like Christ is a process, y'all.

So here I am now, standing at the gas pump with $10 of free gas. Not much, but that's $10 in my pocket. Kind of. Since I had been so blessed by this person putting gas in my tank, I knew that it would honor God for me to pass that blessing along. So I went inside and paid for $10 of gas for the next person to stop at that gas pump; the station employee didn't understand my joyful rambling about ten measly dollars of gas, but I knew that I had honored God in this. And that is more than worth the $10 I could have saved by just driving away after I got my gas.

That's how Christ's Kingdom is built - Love. Piece by piece, heart by heart, blessing by blessing. Even $10 in someone else's gas tank.

Have you ever blessed or been blessed by somebody? How? What can you do to bless somebody today? 
Maybe write a note or call somebody who needs to be encouraged, or pay for somebody's order in the drive-through behind you. It's really not hard to love somebody and be a blessing for them. The Lord will absolutely bless you in return!