When the Los Angeles Times covered a 2008 conference championship soccer match between two Christian schools, Azusa Pacific University and Westmont College, it was about far more than winning the game. Three days earlier, a wildfire had swept through the Westmont campus, destroying several academic buildings, faculty homes, and student rooms. Unable to host the game, the rules required Westmont to forfeit. Instead, Azusa invited their opponents to play at their campus where they welcomed Westmont fans with free admission and lunch.
On the field, Westmont won an emotional 2-0 victory, while Azusa Pacific won admiration for their good will. LA Times reporter Bill Plaschke wrote: “Rarely in Southern California sports has there been a better show of sportsmanship than this, Azusa Pacific sacrificing its chance at a title defense to give Westmont a fair shot at taking it. As impressive as the resilience of the conquerors was the kindness of the conquered.”
So often we think only of money when the Bible calls us to give willingly and bountifully, “for God loves a cheerful giver” (2 Cor. 9:7). Giving others a chance and offering hospitality to those who hurt is generosity that makes winners of everyone involved.