True generosity doesn’t come naturally for many of us — even if we want it to. Often, we hold tightly to what we hold dear. It took a trip to another continent for God to change my heart.
Two years ago I travelled to Africa, and since then, every beat of my heart sounds different. My heart – echoing Christ – compels me to fight for justice, mercy, kindness, orphans, and the poor.
Sometimes I don’t know how to fight for the poor, but God clarifies my questions by telling us to give to others (Matthew 25:31-46, Acts 20:35, 2 Corinthians 8:7). Here’s an excerpt from a study on justice that, along with Scripture, has multiplied my giving:
“Take your hands and squeeze them together right now as tightly as you can. Hold them, if you can, until I tell you to stop, OK? It won’t be too long, just hold them really tight. Really squeeze; really press them together. You know what? That’s exactly what some of us, if not many of us, are doing in our lives. We do this with our money, relationships, and jobs. We wonder why we are a stressed-out culture — it’s because we’re holding tightly to anything and everything we can get our hands on.
DON’T LOOSEN THOSE HANDS. Keep holding them tightly. What I want you to do now while you’re holding really tightly is … just let go. Release your grip and completely relax your hands. Notice how life-giving blood rushes back to your palms and fingers. Sense the change that comes in your breathing and heart rate as you loosen your grip. Consider the difference in your attitude as you stop holding on.”
(From Get Uncomfortable by Todd Phillips)
6 Ideas for Being Generous
Let’s welcome generosity into our homes and make giving a habit. Here are a few ideas of how your family can give to others right now:
- Send a shoebox through Operation Christmas Child.
- Sponsor a child through Compassion International.
- Pass out sandwiches to homeless people in your city.
- Invite those without Thanksgiving plans into your home.
- Deliver groceries to a family in your neighborhood, and cook together to get to know them.
- Start bi-weekly visits to a nursing home.
Will you continue the list with ways that you’re giving?
The Lord of Hosts says this: Make fair decisions. Show faithful love and compassion to one another. Do not oppress the widow or the fatherless, the foreigner or the poor, and do not plot evil in your hearts against one another. (Zechariah 7:9-10, HCSB).
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