Summary: It’s easy for people to talk about the great and generous things they intend to do in the future. But if they’re not being generous with what they have now, it is unlikely they will suddenly change in the future.
“Add Value to People”
Rebekah and Abraham’s Servant
Abraham sent his servant out to find a wife for his son, Isaac. It was a monumental task.
The servant decided to choose a woman based on this principle. He wanted to find a
woman who would add value to him on his journey. Such a woman would make a good
life partner for Isaac. You might call this the Rebekah Principle. Rebekah went the extra
mile. Her generosity stands in stark contrast to the prevailing attitudes today. Her life
seemed to say: I’ll do what you ask me to do, then I’m going to do something more.
Today, people seem to say: I’m going to do the least that is expected of me, and I’m
going to get the most out of it. To be more like Rebekah, we need to keep in mind that:
We Can’t be Generous and Legalistic at the Same Time
She did more than what was required or expected. Her generous spirit was unusual. Her
actions were opposite the Pharisees whose religion could be measured with a yard-tick. In
he end, legalism always leaves people feeling miserable. It becomes either unbearably
arrogant or incurably insecure. Rebekah teaches us: Don’t keep score, just keep giving.
Question: Why do we begin life as generous but become legalistic over time?
You Cannot Walk the Second Mile Until You’ve Walked the First
It’s easy for people to talk about the great and generous things they intend to do in the
future. But if they’re not being generous with what they have now, it is unlikely they will
suddenly change in the future. Rebekah started her serving by first doing what was asked
of her. Only when she finished that did she take care of the camels. Rebekah teaches us:
We will become we are becoming right now.
Question: What is more difficult about walking the “first mile” than the second mile?
Extra Blessings Result From Extra Effort
How easy it would have been for Rebekah to lower her jar, give the stranger a drink and
continue on to her home. That would have been both fair and nice. It also would have
been convenient. Before she offered to be generous—she must have considered the time
and effort it would take; that team of camels might have taken a couple of hours to care
for, carrying buckets of water back and forth.
Question: Why do we simply do the expected instead of the unexpected?
When We Give Generously, the impact of our generosity often outlives us.
In the moment of giving, you cannot imagine how your actions might impact the lives of
others in the future. Rebekah had no idea that her generosity that day, opened the door for
a marriage to Isaac, and she became part of the line of Christ! Because generously adding
value to others is rare—the impact of that generosity lingers long after we’re gone.
Sometimes, it outlives us both now and in eternity.
Question: Why is a generous spirit critical to adding value to people?
25 Ways to Win With People
How to Make Others Feel Like a Million Bucks
By John C. Maxwell and Les Parrott III
1. Start With Yourself – King Solomon (I Kings 3:5-14)
2. Practice the 30 Second Rule – Jesus and Simon Peter (John 1:42)
3. Let People Know You Need Them – Paul (II Tim. 4:11) / Galatians 4:13-15)
4. Create a Memory and Visit It Often – Joshua (Joshua 4:1-7)
5. Compliment People In Front of People – John the Baptist (John 1:29-31)
6. Give Others a Reputation to Uphold – Jesus and Nathaniel (John 1:45-48)
7. Say the Right Words at Right Time – Mordecai to Esther (Esther 4:13-14)
8. Encourage the Dream of Others – Naomi and Ruth (Ruth 3:1-6)
9. Pass the Credit Onto Others – David and his men (I Samuel 30:21-31)
10. Offer Your Very Best – Epaphroditus (Philippians 2:25-30)
11. Share a Secret With Someone – Mary and Elizabeth (Luke 1:39-45)
12. Mine the Gold of Good Intentions – Abigail and David (I Sam. 25:23-35)
13. Keep Your Eyes Off the Mirror – Joseph & Brothers (Genesis 50:18-20)
14. Do for Others What They Can’t Do for Themselves – Joseph (Genesis 41)
15. Listen With Your Heart – Barnabas & John Mark (Acts 15:36-41)
16. Find the Keys to Their Heart – Nehemiah & Builders (Nehemiah 2:17-18)
17. Be the First to Help – Barnabas & Saul (Acts 9:26-27)
18. Add Value to People – Rebekah & Abraham (Genesis 24:10-27)
19. Remember a Person’s Story – David, Jonathan, Mephibosheth (I Sam. 9:1-13
20. Tell a Good Story – Paul (Acts 26:1-29)
21. Give With No Strings Attached – Jonathan (I Samuel 18:1-4)
22. Learn Your Mailman’s Name – Paul (Romans 16:3-15)