Theme of the Week: The Goodness of Generosity
Bible Verse: I have come that they might have life, and have it abundantly. John 10:10b
Scripture Reading: Genesis 3:1-24
As a toddler, I hoarded pennies in my diaper. At nine, I sold pop and chips cheaper than the school vending machines to make money. Financial savvy always came easily to me.
After getting married, we maneuvered budgeting for the present while planning for future expenses. We tried to be frugal, but we were embarrassingly cheap. The funny thing is, we gave religiously to the church, missionaries, and local care centres… a little over 10% so that we could boost our egos and appease our guilt while calling it ‘good stewardship.’ It worked, until it didn’t.
Do you ever notice how Christians are asked for money a lot? Reaching teenagers, caring for addicts, reaching the unreached, and freeing slaves all cost money. We genuinely wanted to be good Christian givers and wrestled with how much we spent on ourselves. Guilt built up, but we stuck by our budget.
Driven mainly by guilt and embarrassment of saying ‘no’ to good asks, Laura and I added a line item to our next budget. In doing so, we stumbled into an accidental spiritual discipline. The “Flex Fund” was born; guilt assuaged for a few measly bucks a month. The Flex Fund became money we pre-decided to give away as God brought good opportunities our way.
Month by month, we began to chat about destinations for this money. Guilt-ridden conversations were slowly exchanged for hearts that loved God and others. Giving became more effortless, more joyful, and more creative. We wanted to give more than the ‘planned’ amount! Giving started to flow out of us, not in a moment, but in simple, incremental steps of flawed obedience.
The Son invites us to abundant life. The serpent has been working his old material to convince us this isn’t true. Too often, we subconsciously act as if following God will cost us the good life. How often are we just like the child in a store whining to their parent, “But I neeeeeeed it!”? Or the toddler refusing to share, “It’s mine!”?
This week we’ll reflect on the abundance found in learning to hold what we have loosely and give it generously. I hope you’ll join a recovering cheapskate as I share some reflections on the journey into the joy of giving.
Prayer: Jesus, thank you for leading me to abundant life. Open my heart to whatever You want to say to me about living generously this week. Reveal the lies I believe about what I need and where the abundant life is found. Amen.
Reflection: Think of the most generous person you know. What can you learn from them?
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