Generosity

by Jenn Lewis

Google defines generous as “showing a readiness to give more of something, as money or time, than is strictly necessary or expected; showing kindness toward others”.

We have all met those people who are so generous and so giving of their time and talents, that it leaves a long-lasting impression on our lives.  There’s one couple that comes to my mind who chose early in their married life to be intentionally generous.  They were purposely going to live their lives with an open hand when it came to their time, their money and their God-given talents.  If they saw a need, they were going to help.  And they instilled that in their children.

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My husband and I have tried to teach that to our children.  It isn’t easy in this current American culture.  There is always something newer and something better - the next greatest thing.  Being content with what we have is not what society tells us.  We are told at every turn of the road that we should own this, or we should drive this, or we should dress this way.  We who live in the United States are so abundantly blessed in comparison to the world, but these earthly things never satisfy.  They don’t last.

Hallelujah, we serve a God who offers everlasting fulfillment and satisfaction.  We worship a God who never leaves us and never forsakes us.  He cares for every bird in the sky and provides for them when they are in need.  How much greater will He provide for us?  And if we’re not worrying about the materialistic appeals of our first-world nation, this frees up our gifts and talents to be used for the kingdom.

I love the thought of being described the way Paul did with the Macedonians in 2 Corinthians 8:3-4, “For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability.  Entirely on their own, they urgently pleaded with us for the privilege of sharing in this service with the saints.”  They weren’t giving the least required - they were giving as much as they could and even more.  They weren’t giving because they were ordered to - they were giving because they saw it as a privilege.

God, give me the ability to say “no” to those fleeting things that will pass away, and to say “yes” to what will last and make a difference.  Help me to see self-sacrifice as a privilege and not a commandment.  May we all be as generous as the Macedonians!