It was Christmastime in the early 1970s and my wife Maria and I were in London, England, living on a shoestring budget from gifts from overseas, staying at the cheapest boarding house we could find and spending as little money as possible.

We had gone for a coffee at our favorite neighborhood restaurant, and were chatting with our friendly waitress, an older woman with whom we had become well acquainted.

Hers was a demanding job that required her to be on her feet all day and to work long hours during the Christmas rush. She had taken the job in order to support her family since her husband had become ill. It was hard for her to earn enough to for them to live on, but she didn’t complain.

“I’m lucky to have this job!” she said, promptly putting an end to that subject. Then adding cheerfully, “I better hurry and clear your table, or I might lose it!”

After thanking her, Maria and I sat for a moment, deep in thought.

“Honey…,” I started.

“Look at her hurrying around, trying to keep up with those young waitresses,” Maria said. “Poor dear!”

“Lord,” I prayed aloud, “I wish I had enough money to give these dear people what I know they need. This poor waitress works so hard and I know she’s not making as much as she needs.”

“And she’s always so sweet to us and waits on us so well,” Maria added.

“Well, what do you think? We don’t have much money ourselves, but we could tip her a pound.”

“Or maybe two,” replied Maria.

“Oh, Lord,” I prayed aloud, “You know I always wished I was a millionaire so I could really give like I’d like to, especially to poor people like this waitress when I see they have a need.”

You don’t have to be a millionaire to give what you’ve got, the Lord spoke to my heart. You’ve got five pounds, so why not give them all to her? Give what you’ve got and I will give you more!

“Yes, I will!” I nearly shouted.

“Will what, honey?” Maria asked

“It’s Christmastime, after all, and the Scripture says, ‘Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over’ (Luke 6:38). I know she needs it. I’d like to give her five pounds!”

You see, the Lord’s finances work the opposite of the world’s. We say, “When I’ve got my million, then I’ll start giving.” But the Lord says, “Start giving what you’ve got now, and I’ll give you all you need and more.” He wants to see if He can trust us to give sacrificially from what we already have. When we do, He gives us more.

So I called our special waitress over. “A little tip for you, my dear. You’re a wonderful waitress. God bless you!”

“Why, thank you!” she responded sweetly. “I can’t thank you enough!”

You know, she didn’t have to say anything — I felt great the moment I tipped her extra!

It did me so much good to give her that money, that I began giving double tips to the waitresses, the bus drivers, and to the newspaper venders.

And from that moment we began to receive the benefits of giving. Soon we were receiving more money for our living expenses. When I started doubling my giving to others, the Lord doubled His giving to me — and the more He gives me double, the more I can keep on giving double! You never lose by giving!

How much have you given lately? Let God give through you and you’ll soon find He’ll give you more. “Freely you have received, freely give” (Matthew 10:8). Try it!

You Never Lose by Giving, Copyright © 1998-2012, The Family International