Have you ever seen a young child offer to share something and then cry when the person took them up on their offer? We may not cry when we give things to others, but sometimes there is a part of us that is calculating to make sure our generosity isn’t costing us too much.
Hopefully, we can train our children to give to others with open hands and open hearts. My friend Colleen recently shared with me a great activity she was doing with her son. She calls it the “Blessing Jar”.
Her son puts change in the jar whenever the mood strikes him. It can be money he found in a parking lot, allowance money, gift money, money he has earned doing small jobs or change from a purchase he has made.
As the jar begins to fill, he is to look around his world and watch for people who may have a need. When he finds someone who needs some help, he is to give that person the jar and bless them with it.
My friend added another twist which I love – she never lets him count the money he is giving away! Her hope is that it will teach him to focus on blessing others with what God has blessed him, instead of worrying about or being prideful of what he is giving.
Have fun with it. Grab a jar for each of your children and let them decorate them. Encourage them to have lemonade stands or do extra jobs for money to place in the jar. See how often you find spare change in parking lots to add to your jars.
Most importantly, teach your children how to recognize people in need. Encourage them to shower others with God’s blessings without thinking of it as sacrificing something they want, but as spreading God’s Love to others. I would love to hear your stories of how your jars blessed those around you! (Please share them in a comment below.)