We Are Generous


Last week was pretty taxing on me because I forgot some pretty important things.

Let me explain.

Last week there were a lot of people moving in and out of my life.  My sister graduated from college so there were parties to plan and lots of people in town to celebrate.

For the record, I love people, parties and celebrations.  I really do.  But, when there are a lot of people, parties and celebrations, I get overwhelmed and I tend to forget some pretty important things.

When this happens, I stop being generous to people and I start being overwhelmed, sarcastic and stingy.  I justify this by saying I don’t have enough energy to love the people around me, which is actually true.  I don’t have it in me.  But that thinking shows I have forgotten some pretty important things.

Mainly, I have forgotten why I exist and that God has promised to give me what I need to be all he has called me to be.

Think about it like this: Have you ever walked into a room to grab something only to forget what you came to get?  It happens to most of us at one time or another and it can be a bit discouraging and disorientating.  No one enjoys feeling like they are losing their mind.

It’s one thing to forget why you walked into a room, it’s another thing to forget why you walk this earth.

When this happens unsettledness begins to grow in our soul because, like Bilbo at the start of The Hobbit, we begin saying no to the adventures outside our front door – we say no to giving love and encouragement.  We lose sight of the reality that we have been made for something more.  And when we don’t give ourselves to something more, unsettledness lingers like a low grade fever.

God doesn’t want us to forget why we exist.  So at the start of the Bible God tells us we have been made to display his character in breathtaking ways.

A key part of God’s character is generosity.  He is a God who gives freely and expansively.  He spreads love, grace and life abundantly.

Why is God generous?  Because there is no scarcity in God.  Within the Trinity there is a fullness of love, happiness and life.  And out of this fullness God lavishly gives to his creation.

And here is the amazing thing God reveals: He is able to make all grace abound to us.

In other words, God gives extravagantly so that we can give extravagantly – abounding in every good work – giving life and blessing to his creation – leaving others more happy and full, even when we feel overwhelmed by the number of people moving in and out of our lives.

By the way, there are many ways to be generous.  Obviously we can give money and time to bless others.  But that’s just the tip of the iceberg.  We can generously give vulnerability by sharing our fears and struggles.  We can give hospitality by opening our homes and sharing our space.  We can give truth by bravely saying what needs to be said.  We can give grace by forgiving those who hurt us.  We can give encouragement by believing the best and remembering nothing is impossible with God.

All of this is giving and all of this is possible, not because we have enough, but because there is no scarcity in God.  And he is able to make grace abound so that we may abound in every good work.

I forgot this last week, so instead of being generous I became overwhelmed, sarcastic and stingy.

I hate when this happens, so here is what I am trying to remember again: God made me to spread love everywhere so everyone leaves my presence more full of his joy.

Also I’m trying to remember God will give me what I need to love all the people who move in and out of my life.

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