But Boaz answered Ruth, “All that you have done for your mother-in-law since the death of your husband has been fully told me, and how you left your father and mother and your native land and came to a people that you did not know before.” Ruth 2:11
We are all familiar with the touching and heartfelt vows that Ruth spoke to her mother-in-law, Naomi, on their return to Judah: “Where you go, I will go; where you lodge, I will lodge; your people shall be my people, and your God, my God.” Ruth didn’t speak those words to impress anyone, she simply spoke them out of love and loyalty. Ruth chose to take care of her mother-in-law instead of tending to her own needs in life. This good and selfless act became known in Judah, and Boaz, a relative of Naomi’s, heard of Ruth’s fidelity and chose to provide for both women.
Some people give to get—they make an offering, hoping to receive something in return. In fact, there is much preaching and teaching in our Christian history that asserts that the more you give, the more God will provide you. But generosity that expects something in return is false generosity. When we freely provide for others, however—when we are truly generous with all that we have—that generosity tends to inspire the generosity of others. And when the world is filled with givers, everyone will be taken care of…including ourselves.
Do you give to get?
Lord, help me to be more selfless in my daily living. Help me to think more of others than myself. Help me to put my needs on the back burner for a moment so that I can tend to the needs of others. Help me to be more like Ruth. In Jesus’ name, I pray. AMEN.