God's Giving Math

Hi guys,

Here’s a little background on me. I am an immigrant. I came to the United States on January 1, 1980, with my mom and my brother. What an easy date to remember, right? I was almost 8 years old when the plane touched down on the tarmac of LAX. My Dad was already in Los Angeles waiting for us.

When I was growing up in Korea, we were very wealthy. My Dad ran a huge textile business that had him traveling all over the world. I remember once when we were watching the Olympics opening ceremony and they were introducing all of the countries, I asked him to name some of the countries he’d visited. He has been to so many countries! I was astounded. I really had no idea.

To make a long story short, the business didn’t make it. I don’t think his heart was ever in it. My Dad is more of a professor type than a business man type. I know my parents went through a rough patch then as my Dad moved to the US before any of us. We were parted for 3 years. I was so young then and I was used to my Dad leaving for business trips, I just thought he went on another one.

I didn’t know this when we arrived in L.A. all those years ago, but my Dad changed professions and was going to a seminary to become a pastor. I didn’t know what that meant but by looking at the small apartment we moved into, I understood that our life was going to be very different.

Even through this rough patch where money was tight, my Mom’s generous nature never dwindled. You see, my Mom is that person who will literally take her shirt off her back for you. When you are around her, you just know she will take care of you.


My Dad shared this story with me the last time we were together. It’s about my Mom’s giving nature.

In our tiny apartment, we had almost no furniture, let alone pots and pans. Someone from the church heard this so they bought us a set of shiny, new pots and pans. About two weeks later, my parents had some people over. By the way, we always had people over. I don’t know how, but my parents were always feeding them and sharing what little they had with them.

Anyway, my Mom found out this young lady who just came from Korea herself did not have anything… not even pots or pans. So guess what my Mom did. Yes, she gave our shiny, new pots and pans to her.  My Dad said he was so surprised but said to himself, “I haven’t seen my wife in 3 years, I can’t be mad at her or tell her not to do this.”

So he decided to just wait and see how this was going to play out. A few days later, we had more guests visiting us and guess what one of them brought us? Yep. The EXACT SAME SHINY, NEW POTS AND PANS my Mom gave to the lady. The exact same brand. The exact same set.

My Dad decided from then on to just observe my Mom’s generous giving. He said that in the 38 years we’ve been in the US, every time my mom gave something away, they would receive double, even triple what she gave. It's still happening to this day.

The generous will themselves be blessed, for they share their food with the poor.
— Proverbs 22:9

When I heard this story, it just struck me how awesome God’s giving math is… the more you give, the more you receive. And I’m not just talking about the material things. Have you ever experienced giving of your time to someone who really needed it but you walked away more fulfilled? Or how about just a simple smile and a hi to a stranger that can change your mood instantaneously?

God's math is so lopsided. It's wonderfully lopsided. When He says that the most important commandment is to love one another, it's not for them... it's for you... it's for me. It's the secret ingredient that will make us happier than anything money can buy.

I am not as generous as my Mom. I honestly haven't met many people like her. I am grateful that she is my role model and that her life is proof that even if you give more than you think you are capable, God will always take care of you.

Thank you for reading and as always, if you have a prayer request, don't be shy! Let me know. I'd be happy and honored to pray for you.