“Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share.” 1 Timothy 6:18 (NIV)
A 5 Day Lesson in Generosity
There are many, many things that I need to work on and improve upon in my life. Thankfully God doesn’t convict us or work on too many of our flaws all at once! He doesn’t want to overwhelm us, and he meets us where we are. This week I thought I would share with you something that God has been teaching me the last few weeks. It’s the concept of generosity.
Recently, in my church small group we’ve been doing a book study on Andy Stanley’s Enemies of the Heart. It’s been a very convicting study. I started the book thinking that I didn’t really struggle with some of the “heart issues” he discusses. However after further study, I found myself saying, “Crap. I totally struggle with that.”
Unfortunately, greed was one of those heart issues. I never really considered myself a greedy person. After reading the book, however, I discovered that greed and selfishness are issues that I still need to conquer. Tithing has never been an issue for me since I was taught that growing up. Also, I’ve always been giving with my time and gifts. Sometimes though, I have a harder time letting go of money, material things or even my desire for superficial things in life. Sometimes I struggle with contentment.
NOTE: God wants us to be blessed, prosperous, and have good things. However He does not want those things to become idols or lord over us. Nor does He want them (or the desire for them) to pollute our hearts with greed and selfishness, causing us to become less effective in loving Him and our neighbors.
With each heart issue Andy Stanley covered a practical step to overcome that issue. (You know how I love practical steps! 😉 ) According to the book, the best way to overcome greed is by practicing generosity.
He listed a few examples in the book of ways to apply generosity. First and foremost though, he suggested that we pray and ask God to show us how HE would have us carry out acts of generosity. For after all, we are just managing His assets/money anyway. I also remember hearing another pastor give similar advice many years ago. He suggested that you pray each day and ask God to show you how you can be more generous that day.