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I give while I'm still living

To give a motive for generosity.

by The Revd Guy Donegan-Cross

Suitable for Whole School (Sec)


To give a motive for generosity.

Preparation and materials

  • None required.


  1. Have you heard of Bob Bradley? He is an 83-year-old war veteran who won £3.5 million in the National Lottery in March 2006. The amazing thing about Bob is that he has given it all away. He has made donations to children's charities, and spent the rest on his family and friends.
  2. Mr Bradley, from Llanelli, said: 'I haven't kept any money myself. I can just give my family all they ever wanted.' Gifts included a £70,000 Mercedes car for his son and a pet rabbit for his great-granddaughter. 'I have had my life more or less, so this win is for their benefit,' he said.
  3. He has left his council home in Llanelli – but only to move in to the £500,000 five-bedroom home he bought for his grandson.  He said the joy of winning came from watching his family enjoy themselves. 'I already feel like I had won the jackpot before it happened,' he said. 'I had got good health and a wonderful family. No amount of money can buy that.' As one of his family said, 'He’s got a big heart and we all love him dearly. He is such a lovely and generous man and was determined to look after his charities.' Mr Bradley has also donated a huge proportion of his lottery win to children's charities worldwide.
  4. I know plenty of people who say that if they won the lottery they would give it all away, but here is someone who has actually done it. Is he now richer or poorer?
  5. Tell this story:

    A wise woman who was travelling in the mountains found a precious stone in a stream. The next day she met another traveller who was hungry, and the wise woman opened her bag to share her food. The hungry traveller saw the precious stone and asked the woman to give it to him. She did so without hesitation. The traveller left rejoicing in his good fortune. He knew the stone was worth enough to give him security for a lifetime. But, a few days later, he came back to return the stone to the wise woman. 'I’ve been thinking,' he said. 'I know how valuable this stone is, but I give it back in the hope that you can give me something even more precious. Give me what you have within you that enabled you to give me this stone.'
  6. Jesus said, 'It's better for you to give than to receive.' Why did he say that?  Because the kind of wealth that we get in a generous heart lasts longer than money.
  7. Once upon a time there were a pig and a cow living together on a farm. The cow was popular while the pig was not. This puzzled the pig. 'People speak warmly of your gentle nature and your sorrowful eyes,' the pig said to the cow. 'They think you're generous because each day you give them milk and cream. But what about me? I'm going to give them everything I have. I'll give bacon and ham. I'll provide bristles for brushes. They'll even pickle my feet! Yet no one likes me. Why is that?’ The cow replied, 'Perhaps it is because I give while I’m still living.'

Time for reflection



Teach us to be givers from our heart
To be free enough to be generous.
To give while we are still living.



'When I needed a neighbour' (Come and Praise, 65)

Publication date: November 2006   (Vol.8 No.11)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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