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Generosity Isn’t Easy

give-loveGoing to a Christian high school, it makes sense you’d have Bible class.

I don’t remember which grade I was in, but I do know I was in high school when we were assigned to pick a virtue represented in the book of Proverbs. I honestly can’t remember what all was on the list, but the one that stuck out and seemed the least embarrassing was generosity.

I didn’t think I had an issue with generosity, but I could go with it. Maybe I could be more generous with my time, I thought. Sure, let’s go with that.

The verse I chose and prayed every day as I kept a journal of what God showed me was Proverbs 11:25

A generous man will prosper, he who refreshes others will be refreshed.

Little did I know, God was setting me up. You may take issue with that statement, but I don’t know what else to call it. Truth is, I was not a generous person at all. I was nice. I did what was expected of me, but going above and beyond wasn’t part of my DNA.

You can’t fake generosity. You won’t try to refresh others in an attempt to bring it back to yourself. It’s illogical. And why not just refresh yourself in the first place and cut out the middle man?

A generous person, however, will give because it’s in his nature. You may have to make conscious efforts at times, but you delight in giving and sharing and building up.

Jesus teaches that giving is less like an arrow and more like a boomerang. As we receive divine gifts of grace and compassion and joy and forgiveness, we pass those along to others, and they ricochet back to us.

The giver will be blessed! The giver will be happy! The giver will wallow in the richness of a life marked by generosity!  –Margaret Feinberg, Fight Back with Joy (pg. 130 and 131)

Freely you’ve received, now freely give (Matthew 10:8). Understanding the character and heart of the Father as beyond generous makes you crave generosity. It’s transforming to experience the love and grace of your Savior.

The more you receive from Him, the more there is to give.

Maybe you’re in a desperate situation like Margaret was and it’s difficult to be generous. I’ve been there. You feel defeated. You learned generosity and love it, but feel like everything has been stripped away from you.

It’s painful when you have experienced a generous lifestyle and its joy, but you can no longer express that generosity in the same way.

Don’t give up. What I’ve been finding out is generosity comes in thousands of colors, shapes, and sizes. It’s not about having money or not. It’s not about having a lot of extra time. It’s simply finding gratitude for all that’s been done for you, turning around, and loving someone else.

Not always easy, but the boomerang never fails.

What do you think? Have you experienced this? Have you chosen generosity when it was difficult? What was the result?

fbwj-buttonWelcome to week 10 of our discussion of Fight Back with Joy (disclosure) by Margaret Feinberg. We are taking a sentence, paragraph, or passage that inspires, encourages, or challenges and writing about it. If you have a response on your blog, add the link to the widget below. Either way, head over to my friend and co-facilitator, Sarah Salter’s blog for her thoughts.

Whether you’ve read the chapter or not, please dive into the conversation!

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  1. Recently I have been generous with my hugs and encouraging words to a member of our family. So often I want to sit her down and give her a good talking too but God keeps shutting my mouth. So I resorted to prayer and just two nights ago I was in tears praying that if He wanted me to help this person He would bring it to me. Just a day later, she ask for my help…I almost fainted, honestly, what an open door. So tomorrow we get together to talk. Had I not been generous with my hugs and kind words she would not be meeting with me. Being generous is always the best way but hard because we want to be in control, do this my way God, let me give my way, even let others give to me my way. Good post Jason, God has been working through you brother, your post have been filled with honesty and wisdom. Thanks for listening to Him to speak through you.

    • Wow, Betty. What an amazing testimony! That blesses and challenges me on a deep level. We can think we’re being “generous” by trying to give people our two cents worth and trying to fix them with words. Love never fails. Words and opinions certainly do, but love prevails. Beautiful! Thanks so much, Betty.

  2. I tend to be a generous person…maybe to a fault (is that possible?). I have always enjoyed giving away books, hugs, time, even money. We are now in a down season financially for me (my wife retired) and i am finding it disheartening to not be as generous as I like. Guess I need to find another way to be generous.
    Bill (cycelguy) recently posted..EvaluationMy Profile

    • You and me both, brother. 🙂 I can get amazed sometimes at how God refuses to allow certain expressions--even good ones--to define us. His love and generosity can be expressed in a million different ways. We just have to be willing to hear, respond, and go with Him. Thank you, Bill.

  3. When I was working outside the home, I always made a point to give to my church and several charities; I loved the opportunity to be generous with my money. But I now see how generosity can be shown to others in limitless ways, not just through financial contributions. Being generous with my time and attention to others, volunteering, and just going the extra mile to help and show love to my family are all blessings! Thanks for the inspiration, Jason!
    Martha Orlando recently posted..Treasure!My Profile

    • You are so right--it’s limitless. So many options to show God’s love and generosity. Thank you, Martha!

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