About 5 years ago, someone gave me a cookie jar filled with cookies. On the lid was written the following:
You have been given a very special cookie jar. This jar is filled with the most wonderful cookies ever made. You can eat these cookies until they are gone or you can choose to share them with others. If you eat what you need and share the rest, it will never run out. If you save the cookies, they will spoil.
I couldn’t believe it. Who had ever heard of a cookie jar that replenishes itself if you share the contents? Well, I’m a curious type so I thought, I’ll try it. I ate one cookie. It was amazing. The cookie was the best I had ever tasted. For a moment, I was tempted to just keep them for myself, but I decided I see what would happen. I took the cookies and started handing them out until they were all gone. I replaced the lid and waited. Five minutes later I looked, there were no cookies. Ten minutes later – nothing. One hour later – nothing. I started to regret giving all those cookies away! What kind of sick joke was this? I went to bed depressed. Those were the best cookies I had tasted and I just gave them all away! Well, I hoped all those who ate them enjoyed them!
The next morning I woke up. The empty cookie jar was sitting on the counter. I was still disappointed. I didn’t want to see that cookie jar again. I went to throw it away. As I picked it up, it was heavier than I remembered. I opened the lid. It was completely full again! Amazing! The lid was right! I picked up one cookie and took a bite. It was the same wonderful flavor. Wow. Should I save the rest? I thought about it for about a second. If it happened one time, would it happen another time? I finished my cookie and decided to hand out the rest. I walked down the street, handing out cookies. When they were all gone I rushed home. Right before I got home, I noticed an empty cookie jar in the trash. It looked like the one I had. It was obvious that the person who had owned that jar, didn’t share the cookies. I picked it up and brought it home. The next morning, when I woke up, both of the jars were full of the same wonderful cookies. I couldn’t believe it! I had more cookies than I knew what to do with. I started walking around town passing out the cookies. Every once in a while, I came accross an empty cookie jar. I would collect these empties and bring them home. As usual, the next morning, all of the jars were full. There were more cookies there than I could pass out in a day. I decided that I would give full jars to other people so they would pass out the cookies. As long as they took only what they needed and shared the rest, the cookie jar would never be empty.
As I watched others passing out the cookies day after day, I realized that it wasn’t the cookies that were special. It was the joy that we received by giving. The more we gave, the more we wanted to give. I started noticing others giving cookie jars to their friends. It seemed that everyone wanted others to experience the joy of giving.
That was the true magic of the cookie jar.
In the Bible, Paul also had his own cookie jar. Paul said, “Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously.” Want to read more? Read 2 Corinthians 9:6-15