Be Generous…Be You

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Sometimes I feel like God prefers the version of me that is strong, capable and of course more loving.  So I try to be strong, capable and more loving.  But I believe I’ve been wrong.  God wants me.  Period.  And what He really wants from me is to stop trying so hard.  And instead be open to receive His gifts.  After all that is what grace is, a generous gift.

I never realized how hard it actually is for me to receive.  One time my mom bought me a very cool Tassimo Coffee Maker and instead of saying “thank-you” I gave her a bunch of reasons why it might be a good idea to return it.   I know, this certainly was not a “best daughter in the world” kind of moment.  But I think I hurt God’s feelings far more when I treat His gifts like this.  My favourite responses seem to be: “I don’t deserve this.” or  “Someone else needs it more.”  These statements are very likely true.  But they seem to be irrelevant in God’s economy.

2 Corinthians 9 says,

“6 Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. 10 Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. 11 You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.  15 Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!”

It’s astonishing for me to realize that in order for me to be cheerful giver I need to learn how to be good at receiving first.  Because as it turns out the only thing I have to give is what God has already given to me.

Much of the time I approach life from a place of scarcity instead of the kind of abundance mentioned here.  Like there’s only so much to go around.  Limited resources, limited love and all for a limited time.  But what I’m considering lately is that God is limitless.  Everything He is and has is without limits.  This has been apparent since the very first moments of Creation.   God lavished His beauty upon the earth.  He didn’t just make things orderly and functional.  I doubt that it was out of necessity that He chose to have an infinite number of stars in the sky or thousands upon thousands of different kinds of flowers to keep the bees happy.   When God created He certainly went all out didn’t  He?  There most certainly is enough to go around.  The thing that trips me up the most though is trying to make sense of why much of the world is living in poverty while I have more than I need and still gifts continue to come my way.  I see a good answer to this in verse 11.

 “You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion.”  This reminds me of Matthew 10:8 where Jesus says, “Freely you have received.  Freely give.”

The abundance that I have is a call to Be Generous.  But not according to everyone else’s opinions or standards.  Because at the same time God says Be You.

 “Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.”

This promise of God’s abundant provision makes me excited because I don’t have to try to be anything or anyone else.  I can be me.  And I don’t have to worry or fight for my place in the world because God has said that I will abound in good work.  It brings me great peace and confidence to know that all I really need to do is allow God’s gifts to flow freely from my heart and my hands to others.

 

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