Thursday, May 25, 2017

Generosity can be such a hard lesson for us to learn. Even as children, we might have found it difficult to share our toys with others. After all, they were “ours” – why share them?

Sharing is quite possibly one of the most vital yet toughest habits to teach and learn. We naturally want to hold onto what is ours, whether it’s our material possessions, food, money, or time. By doing this, however, we are doing a great disservice not only to our fellow humans but also to ourselves. For when we are generous and share what we have, we make life even a little better for ourselves and also for the world around us.

Here are 5 reasons why we Christians should take the time to cultivate more generosity in our lives right now:

Generosity Brings Us Closer to God – Each of us has an innate longing to become closer to God. The apostles tell us that in mimicking Christ, we are doing the work of the Lord and are becoming holier. If you look to your Savior and really think about His sacrifice long enough, you will understand how much of a giver He and God the Father really are. If you begin cultivating the habit of giving and being more generous, you will find yourself becoming closer to God.

It Can Soften Even the Hardest of Hearts – You don’t have to be rich to be generous. You only need to have a good heart. Even those who have become jaded throughout the years can learn to open their hearts again and become generous once more. First, ask the Lord in prayer what He wants to do through you. This allows God to open your eyes to great possibility in how you can become more generous. Maybe you will want to offer your seat up to another passenger on the bus. Perhaps you will see an elderly person struggle to put groceries in their car and you will feel inclined to help. Let the Holy Spirit work through you to become more generous. And you never know – you might inspire others to become more soft-hearted and generous, too!

Generosity Can Change Lives – God is so good that He gave us His only Son so that we would not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16). Our generosity should have a similar effect. Being generous isn’t just about giving what we have – it’s about changing the lives of those around us with our words and actions. A simple smile or a kind word or acknowledgement to someone could, at the very least, brighten that person’s day. You never know – your seemingly small gift of love could be the highlight in that person’s life for the day!

It Fills Your Heart with Joy – You may have heard the old adage “it is better to give than it is to receive.” It’s true – the more we give, the more we delight in our giving, and the more our Lord delights in us, His children. Even 2 Corinthians 9:7 points out that, “God loves a cheerful giver.” When we give of our time, talent, possessions, money, and love, our hearts feel lighter and are absolutely infused with elation. Try it and see for yourself!

We Are Storing up Our Eternal Rewards in Heaven – Remember what Jesus told His disciples in the parable of the sheep and the goats: “Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For when I was hungry, you gave me something to eat. I was thirsty, and you gave me something to drink. I was a stranger and you invited me in. I was naked and you clothed me. I was sick and you cared for me. I was in prison and you visited me. … Truly, I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these, you did for Me.” (Matthew: 34-36, 40). When we are generous and give to others, we are storing up our eternal rewards in Heaven. In blessing others with what we have, the Lord blesses us in return!

How can you change someone’s life today with your generosity?