Wednesday, December 12, 2012

The Joy of Generosity

I love that during this time of year, giving abounds. There is a generous spirit that can't help but come out during Christmas. I wonder if it is the Lord inspiring people to give, as He reminds us of His great big, everlasting gift in Jesus.

Generosity is something that makes my heart burst. God is all about generosity - not just with stuff, but with our time, our resources, our emotional energy. The early church was incredibly good at giving. I'm not talking about tithing to a church; I'm talking about blessing others and caring for their needs, whether they know Jesus or not. I need God to revive my heart in the area of blessing others out of what He's given me (whether I feel like I have "enough to give" or not). I need a reminder of the joy of generosity.

This month I've asked some of my sponsors to share about generosity, but I thought I'd start off the conversation today with a story.

Don't ask me why I watermarked this picture. No one wants to steal a picture of a bloated pregnant chick. But it's a habit so I'm keeping the watermark!

Last November I was LARGELY pregnant. Like people literally asked me how I was not falling over type of pregnant. The last few weeks of pregnancy are hard on every woman's body, and my 4'8" frame was no exception. I only had to walk about 5 minutes to my office for work each day, but by the time I got there I was exhausted, sore, and almost in tears. My body was going on strike.

One morning, a friend popped her head into my office. As I sat down and rubbed my aching back, this friend informed me that her and her husband were treating me to a spa day at a really nice local spa. She said that they'd watched me drag myself to work everyday, carrying a super-sized bowling ball on my stomach, and they wanted to pamper me. (Who does that?!) I was 9 months pregnant and was going to get a pedicure, manicure, and massage. I was shocked; it was the perfect gift. Thank you friends for easing the (literal) pain of a gigantically pregnant woman. You gave out of the little that you had in order to meet a real need of mine. You guys were Jesus to me. And I bet you enjoyed giving to me almost as much as I enjoying receiving it :)

I love that being generous isn't about giving money. These friends saw a need and asked the Lord how they could partner with Him in meeting it. I think that you can be generous with your money, but also with your time, with how you listen, with lending out your car or offering to babysit. There are a lot of ways to be generous. The point of generosity is to bless others; it's not about the dollar amount.

I started writing this post about generosity to inspire you. But as I finish writing, I know that God is asking me to keep my eyes open. To listen to Him when He knocks on my heart and says, "give." And to trust Him when He asks me to give out of the little that I have. What if God wants to use my time, or my money, or my creativity, to bless someone? I hope I am bold enough to say "yes." You never know how He will use your dollars or your service. You might think it's just a spa day; but you also just might be Jesus to someone.

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8 comments:

  1. Good words. So true - generosity is so much more about the heart behind than the amount or size.

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  2. love this! i'm praying through this post right now that god would show us who he has in mind with a need for us to give ourselves to :)

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  3. You are so right, Mackenzie! I also believe that generosity is not just about giving to charities. Sometimes even the smallest gesture counts and if we just look around and be generous to the people who are close to us, be it family, friends, or co-workers, we can start a wave that will spread far and wide. Happy giving!

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  4. yes! I wish I knew how to use what I love to do to help others...a constant struggle of mine is feeling like I should be doing something more...something that matters. I am always looking for the next thing to try, and I almost feel like I lack contentment....such a struggle!

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  5. what a great gift when you needed it most! thanks for the inspiration to keep my eyes open for opportunities to give generously.
    floralandfudge

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  6. LOVE your perfect belly!!!!!!!! For me generosity is all about being Jesus to someone. We don't have the funds to give much, but I have big heart to give!!! :)

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  7. Thanks for sharing that story! I am currently living in Spain and was sad about not being home with my family for Thanksgiving. Although I hid my emotions because I didn't want the family I am living with here to know... well, Thanksgiving night I was in my room when I was summoned by the kids to come downstairs. When I entered the dining room the entire family was gathered around a beautifully decorated table, complete with a Thanksgiving feast. And they are not even American! One of the most incredible blessings, and I was so touched. That day, they exemplified Jesus to me... going out of their way to love me. Now we are called to pay it forward, huh?

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  8. So generous of your friends and so thoughtful!

    Fabulous post and thanks for sharing your story.

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