Tuesday, December 31, 2013

The Power of Generosity for 2014!

There is an overwhelming consumer mentality that exists in our American culture. We live in a culture that often prefers grabbing to giving. The cultural message seems to say “you are what you own.”  But in the midst of this cultural mindset there are millions of people who are generous and who practice generosity daily. Someone made a quote that stated “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give!”

The dictionary defines generous as “of a noble nature, willing to give or share; large, ample.” We think of God as a generous Creator who offers life to us as a gift. We read in the Bible that a generous person is someone we should emulate. (Psalm 112:5 NIV) “Good will come to him who is generous and lends freely….” Or “A generous man will himself be blessed, for he shares his food with the poor.” (Proverbs 22:9 NIV)

In one church survey it was discovered what causes some members to be more generous than others. The most significant factor that determined why some people are more generous than others was whether the person had been taught generosity as a child. The impact of parents in  teaching their children to give was the key that opened the world of giving.  Generosity is about people, and it starts with you and me. If we are going to grow, it will be in relationship with someone else, even if it is a brief one. We must pursue opportunities to express our care and concern for others. Our commitment to grow often will require risk-taking and a willingness to move outside of our comfort zones. Jumping at the opportunity to bless someone or offer help to someone with a need.

Recently all the ministers from the Shell Lake community met for a breakfast gathering at a local restaurant. We were informed that our waitress had just moved to Shell Lake from Alaska to start a new life here with just her 2 year old son. Her child sitter was in Trego which she had to drive twice daily to take him and pick him up. The childcare fee was $3/hour. Her income at the restaurant was $3/hour plus tips. It was an obvious need and one of the pastors expressed that we should provide a large tip to help her. It was over $40 we came up with to bless her. It was a joy to see the joy that came on her face.

“When a person is down in the world, an ounce of help is better than a pound of preaching.” (Edward G. Lytton) Generosity is part of the lubrication that makes life go better by lifting our spirits and reinforcing our connection with someone else. Generosity makes a profound difference in people’s lives! The power of generosity makes a difference in the lives of those who choose to give. It’s a beautiful thing! It is something that we can all purpose in our hearts to become in 2014! A blessed New Year to all of you!