I am so excited to share this month’s choice with you. As I was praying about June I felt that generosity was going to be the choice.
When you think of generosity, what springs to mind?
I think for a lot of us the first thought is money and giving it away. Is that what you were thinking? For others it may have been time or passing on what you no longer need or use to bless others.
I am so excited about this month’s choice because it encompasses so many things like… love, words, affection and giving of yourself in different capacities as the need or opportunity arises.
I am going to challenge myself and not just give but give radically and not out of guilt but out of an abundance that we experience ourselves from our heavenly Father. He is our role model in how to give radically and abundantly with no fear of having less or going short ourselves. As we live out a life of generosity we are living out kingdom values to those around us in the workplace, school, mother and toddler groups, friendship groups and to our own children, who we want to bring up to be generous. As children learn by watching, our heavenly Father would say ‘Watch what I do and do the same’.
God is the ultimate giver and gave His own son that we could live. John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
Outgiving God is simply an impossibility!
As I thought about ways of giving I thought about the ‘5 Love Languages‘ by Gary Chapman that I learnt about when I did the marriage course with the Lovely Mr B! They are the 5 main ways that people experience and give emotional love. They are:
- Words of affirmation-Using words that build people up.
2. Quality Time-Giving someone your undivided attention.
3. Receiving Gifts-Visible symbols of love.
4. Acts of Service-Practical application of showing love by helping each other.
5. Physical Touch-As it sounds, some people simply love to be hugged (including our teenagers, even though they may pretend not to).
I was surprised to find that the giving and eating of chocolate was not on the list!!
If we all started with the 5 love languages (which are universal) this would be an amazing way to show those around us what the kingdom of God looks like. These can all be done with people that are not in our own families and for instance giving ‘quality time’ to someone who is living on the street can make them feel seen and loved and profoundly touched.
During an Outreach evening on TSM I encountered a guy on the streets who was living in the woods behind the local supermarket. He was going through a very bad patch and was feeling overwhelmed when I met him (I was with two of my outreach team at the time). He was walking along in the rain with a shopping trolley to return (to get the £1) and effing and jeffing as he walked, such was his angry state. We had no cash on us to give him but we were able to talk to him for about 40 minutes and give him our full attention. He wanted to show us where he was living because he didn’t think anybody would take the time to go and see. As a group we went and looked and he was grateful that we had done that and he knew we were genuinely interested in him. During the time we spent with him he calmed down and was very open to talk about God. We were able to invite him to the Easter service at The Kings Arms Church (which I found out he attended the next day).
When God gives us an opportunity to be generous we will never fully comprehend or often not even see the impact it has on another persons life but we have to trust that we are planting seeds for the Kingdom and the outcome is not down to us but we can leave that to God.
Just by living generously we can impact the world around us knowing that it was all God’s idea in the first place.
I’m all in!! How about you?