Loving Deposits

“Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth. … Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.” (1 John 3:18, 4:7-8).

I went to the bank to make a deposit this morning. It is a doing I’ve been doing for a long season.

As a child, I would often accompany my father to the bank and watch him make his deposits. They were occasions filled with greetings and laughter and the simple joys that came with growing up in a small town where everyone knew my daddy’s name and offered me, because I was his daughter, the obligatory nod of approval. I always walked out with a lollipop. Most banks still honor the tradition—a small punctuation of thanks for the exchange of trust between client and banker.

I appreciate my bank even as my father appreciated his. And lest you think it was and is all about the transaction of money, bank visits with my father exceeded the customary function of the visit. Deposits were, indeed, the order of the day. Not solely in terms of cash, but more fully in terms of something far greater.


When daddy went to the bank, he did so knowing that there would be on occasion for him to invest his love into the lives of others. In fact, going anywhere with my father yielded such a platform. He’s a people person with a generous heart to match. Watching him love is one of the noblest classrooms that I have attended as a student of the human race. His hugeness of heart for humanity is where mine began. And while his capacity for loving easily eclipses mine, I caught his spirit early on, and it’s been working out its perfection in me ever since.

Loving pure and loving big. The overriding and constant prayer of my heart.

When I examine the outgrowth of the fruit of the Spirit as scripted in Galatians 5:22-26, love stands at the helm. Without it, every other manifestation of the Spirit’s seeding breathes less. And when I walk in understanding of the magnitude of the Gift I’ve been given, I am humbled by the reality that my love often walks lacking.

The Purpose Driven Life has coined the mantra “It’s not about you,” but the purpose driven Elaine usually banks to the contrary. On my best days, there is still an awful lot of me in the mix. Thus, the constant prayer of my heart for the filling up and the spilling forth of God’s immeasurable love, not mine. Left to myself, my love deposits less—impure and small and of little worth in my Father’s kingdom economy.

My words and my pen may voice big, but at the end of the day, have my actions proved accordingly? I don’t want to simply write love, I want to live love … what my friend, California Kristen, would call “being the evidence.” Am I the living and breathing witness of God’s reach to humanity, or am I simply keeping my investments … my deposits … close to the vest? Are my transactions with others limited to the safe and the perfunctory, or do they extend to the deeper level of a heart to heart exchange?

Good questions to ponder this day. Not for condemnation’s sake but for eternity’s.

What we do with God’s love matters. If loving comes naturally to you, if the outgrowth of your inward pulse speaks love, lives love, and unwraps love in lavish measure, then there is something of our God living in you. You may not fully understand where your propensity for loving comes from, but its anchor holds in heaven, gripped by the hands of the Almighty Father who’s always been in the business of making deposits.

For our gain and for his glory.

God is love. He has gifted us with the capacity for knowing his love and for being his love to others. And while it sometimes might be more convenient and less messy to skip the process, as Christians, love is our requirement. No one gets a pass on this exam. Rather, it will be the measure of heaven’s reward.

“God is love. When we take up permanent residence in a life of love, we live in God and God lives in us. This way, love has the run of the house, becomes at home and mature in us, so that we’re free of worry on Judgment Day—our standing in the world is identical with Christ’s.” (1 John 4:17, The Message).

When love “runs the house,” love rules the heart. And a heart ruled by love is a heart that is welcomed by a world in need of its deposit. Be it…

in the bank.
at the check out line.
in the doctor’s office.
at a school program.
in a courtroom.
in a classroom.
in a restaurant.
in our pews.
around our tables.
at the bedside of loved ones.

Wherever our journey leads, love in action is the one investment that seeds eternally. Thus, a doing I’ve been doing for a long season. A bank “deposit” that not only nourishes the flesh, but also tends to the soul as well.

Perhaps this day, in some small or huge way, there is “bank” awaiting your loving deposit. It probably won’t look like mine; no matter. God’s love breathes in all shapes and sizes and dimensions to fit specific needs. Your requirement is simply to come alongside his heart and to complete the process. To put action behind the thought and to “be the evidence” of your Father’s residency within.

It’s the stuff of small town living with a focus toward big kingdom gain. A day in the life of a believer, where laughter and joy abounds because others recognize our heavenly Father by name and give us the obligatory nod as his children. A sacred punctuation for the exchange of trust between man and his Maker. Between me and my God. Thus, I pray…

Help me to love, Father, even as you love. Fill me to overflow, and keep me making deposits accordingly—into the lives of others for their gain and for your increasing glory. You have entrusted me with the gift of your love. Let my actions and my obedience breathe with the witness of such a lavish endowment. And when I am tempted to love less, to invest safer and to the withdrawal therein, remind me of my family bloodlines that trace back to heaven and that require my privileged participation in the matter. Let your love run my house and rule my heart this day. Amen.

Copyright © December 2008 – Elaine Olsen. All rights reserved.

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To make a “deposit” like I did this morning, please visit Indiana Krisen at “Over the Backyard Fence” for this recipe of pumpkin crisp.Worth the baking, friends. I promise! Shalom.

29 Responses to Loving Deposits

  1. Yummy! It makes me want to make a deposit in my tummy! Oh–that wasn’t the message I was supposed to get? I like the other one too, friend! Investing in people is what it is all about!

    Loving you,


  2. Hi Elaine, thank so much for visiting my blog. I am following you now (I hope you’ll follow mine as well and receive some nuggets of blessings along the way).

    I love your blog. What a great example of sharing the love of Christ. The recipients looked very happy!

    God bless you today!

  3. Excellent, excellent lesson that we all need to be reminded of. I know just what deposit I need to make next–once he wakes up from his nap. Wonderful, Elaine.

  4. pumpkin crisp just sounds wonderful needless to say how god i’m sure it tastes!
    enjoy your weekend…we’re off to the mountains for retreat with the 44 high schoolers that signed up.
    Appreciate your prayers..: )

  5. I agree with the others … a good lesson, and a good reminder.

    I’ve been known to leave cookies in the mailbox, flag up, for the postman (even though he’s a “she”). But I need to think about all the others that bless my life, and that rarely get more than a “thank you” (if that).

    I like your Dad! (He sounds an awful lot like my own)


  6. “Let your love run my house and rule my heart this day.” Oh, Elaine, I glean so much from your writing that God has so blessed. Thank you for this wonderful reminder.
    Love you,

    PS–Going to take a look at that recipe!!

  7. Oh, I want to live love too. Your dad sounds much like my grandpa was. He would walk into a bank or bakery and everyone knew his name. He was always inviting “new friends” home for dinner or church. They’ve provided us with good examples, haven’t they, Elaine?

  8. I’ve always felt my daily mission is to make the lives of others more valuable! By encouraging them…

  9. Hey Elaine, Great post….

    I am almost finished reading “Anonymous”…. I don’t want it to end. I’ve been taking my time, SLOWLY moving through it…cause I don’t want it to end…..

    I think I will read “Crazy Love” next.

    I just finished “SoulTalk” by Larry Crabb. It was great too!

    What are you reading????

  10. Hey Elaine,

    Oh, what a wonderful lesson you shared today.

    You make deposits with each post you write.

    Thank you for sharing so many truths that transform.

    I recieved my book today, YIPEE!!

    Thanks so much Elaine, gosh…I wish I lived closer to you.


  11. “Am I the living and breathing witness of God’s reach to humanity, or am I simply keeping my investments … my deposits … close to the vest?”

    You got me here…with these words. This too is my prayer!!

    In His Graces~Pamela

  12. My life is richer because of the deposits you have made into my life. Deposits of love and time, and of encouragement and truth. The deposits you’ve made have been gaining interest in the life’s of others, as we in turn reach out and bless others because of the inspiration of His Word through your investment in us.

    It’s in part due to the long overdue deposits I needed to make that I have become more silent with my pen. “I don’t want to simply write love, I want to live love.” My life has become more living…more “bank visits” into the lives of others. Instead of “on-line” banking, I’ve been making personal direct deposits and my assets have increased. I had been living a little overdrawn, but my account is in much better shape right now, even with the uncertainty of the economic crisis.

    “Being the evidence”,

  13. I loved the analogy here you used and the easy way you encouraged us to make a difference in other people’s lives. Not just this season but all the time.

  14. Elaine,

    Thank you for the Loving Deposit that I received yesterday (Friday) in the mail.

    Also, I see “Proof of Life” in you!


  15. Elaine, I’m sure your deposits are reaping huge dividends even now! (And, I love reading the stories of your dad.) 🙂

    Even as we make our spiritual deposits, I am forever grateful and encouraged by the Divine deposit that the Lord Himself made in us:

    “Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us, set His seal of ownership on us, and put His Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.” (2 Corinthians 1:21-22; reference also 2 Corinthians 5:5, Ephesians 1:13-14, and 2 Timothy 1:14).

    Now that’s a rich reward! 🙂

  16. Thanks for writing this post Elaine. This really inspired me to love more with actions.

    Blessings to you,

  17. I wonder how different my life would be if I’d been raised by a father like yours. Wow.
    But that’s the past, and the past can’t be changed. What can be changed is now. What kind of mother is raising my boys?

    Thanks for the perspective.

  18. I thoroughly enjoyed this post. Thank you so much for your gift of love. You are a blessing to so many. We all are very appreciative to be on the receiving end of your precious love. Blessings my friend!

  19. Amen! Truly, our actions speak louder than words.

    I pray that your are enjoying the Christmas season! The 25th is quickly approaching. :o)


  20. Beautifully timed, as always. You’re so right about investing in people! Whether at your local bank or here in blogworld, the many loving deposits you make certainly show the love of Christ beaming through you. = )

    A blessed recipient…

  21. ‘depositing into people’ that is definately what it’s all about! thanks for the recipe link, too, usually the best ‘deposits’ are made with yummy bread!!

  22. My cousin and I went to visit a bank in Oklahoma a couple of years ago to do some banking for my aunt. They make popcorn in a real popcorn popper. You can get some for free. I asked the teller to take my picture in front of it. I think she thought I was a bit ‘tetched.’ I need to find that photo. What a fun day! 🙂

    You always amaze my Elaine! Beauty ~ always…

  23. “If loving comes naturally to you, if the outgrowth of your inward pulse speaks love, lives love, and unwraps love in lavish measure, then there is something of our God living in you.”

    Oh yes. Food for my soul this evening.

  24. wifeforthejourney:

    Of all the gifts we give, I think the best is time. Your gift to our friends at the bank measured way more than flour or calories. In a place that is all business all day(hey, it IS a bank), I loved getting to play delivery boy and see the reactions of the staff people there.

    Like your mom says: “elaine is the sort of person who gives you flowers while you’re still alive.” Life is better lived when we love as we have the opportunity – not just “when we get a round to it.”

    I love you honey; you are the best!
    ~ Billy

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