December 3: Generosity
The generous will themselves be blessed, for they share their food with the poor. - Proverbs 22:9
Joel talked a couple of weeks ago about the importance of giving (listen to that message here). He likened giving to exercise. Exercise is good for you (we all know that)- but it’s not something everyone does regularly. I would love to have a six-pack, but I’m not so eager to get up early to go to the gym. It costs something to get the benefits of exercise. Being generous results in blessings (proverbs 11:24-25), but it requires something first.
The Bible promises that our generosity will be rewarded (psalm 41:1-3) but it also requires us to sacrifice before we see any of those blessings.
Fortunately, generosity is something everyone can cultivate. Christmas is a time ripe for giving. Consider practicing generosity this season.
How can we be more Generous?
1.Start with Gratitude
I recently listened to a podcast on gratitude, featuring psychology professor Dr. Robert Emmons. Emmons highlights (among other things) that gratitude is largely dependent on humility- or recognizing that you can’t do everything.”
Gratitude predicates an understanding that the good things you have came from others- namely God (James 1:17). Isn’t it so much easier to share cookies with a friend if a coworker made them for you?
Focus on what God has done for you today. Consider reading the following verses to frame your blessings:
2. Keep an external focus
In our desire to be blessed, it’s very easy to be generous in a self serving way. Blessings are the fruit of generosity- but if we’re focused on the getting the blessing, chances are we’ll miss it. Jesus’ greatest commandment is to love God, and then to love others (Matthew 22:36-40). Focus on God first, then on others, and finally look to your own needs.
Try reframing some things in your mind today with that hierarchy: God, Others, You. Practice thinking in that order and you’ll be amazed how you will be blessed. Read through Philippians 2:4, and let it shape your thoughts today.
Make Your House Smell Amazing
Create an inviting aroma in your home with a natural simmering pot. It has the advantage of smelling amazing, and can be reused over and over again.
Written by: Mary Weinstein
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