And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased. (Heb 13:16)
When we were younger, we did "nice" things seeking the approval of others. As a child, we would perhaps go the extra distance and actually clean out the junk under our beds to hear Mom say "Wow, you did a great job!" At work, we put that added touch to our current project for two reasons, because it makes the difference in the job we are doing, and to hear the boss tell us "wow, you did a great job!"
In our daily lives, we all have obstacles that evidence the need for "good works". We see the homeless or "down on his luck" soul standing outside Wal-Mart with the sign "will work for food", we stand behind the mother at the check out line counting pennies to make the total of her grocery bill. Most of us have been in a place of financial struggle at one point in our lives, and those who haven't may get there some day. God provides for our needs. How? Maybe by us throwing that $5 bill out the window to the man with the sign, maybe pulling out a quarter to hand to the woman in the grocery store. Not all of God's miracles come directly for above. Most of the time, they come to us through others.
We are called to be self-sacrificing (which is defined as the sacrifice of one's own desires, interest, etc., for the sake of duty or for the well-being of others). As a parent and "former" spouse, I understand that completely. Christ's death on the cross was both a sacrifice (in the literal form) and a self-sacrifice! His life for our sins! Big self-sacrifice!
Sharing with others is a Christian fundamental. Christ shared himself with us and for us, what makes us think that we are not tasked with the same responsibilities? Did he not say to clothe the naked, feed the hungry and love others as he loved us?
As the colder months approach, as the season of "spend all your money on everything for everyone" approaches, let your heart lead you. Make it an offering of the greatest proportion! Sometimes it's a check, sometimes it's a room, sometimes it's a shoulder and sometimes it's a prayer. None of it goes unnoticed, especially when it is out of genuine love and concern for another. Share what God has given you and he will give you more. Hoard what you have and you will lose it. God's love is best spread around, encouraging others to see the true meaning of the word "sacrifice". Don't be afraid to reach out and love someone as Christ would have. Be that "cheerful giver" and God will undoubtedly say "wow, you did a great job"!!!