Jonathan's Perspective  

Mar 22

The Generous Impulse

James Bryan Smith writes that generosity springs from a sense of abundance and a feeling of compassion. We find these two characteristics - abundance and compassion - in the core of God's being. I like the prayer that recognizes that while we come to God in all our want (lack), God is all abundance. Psalm 36 evokes God's fullness and generosity beautifully:

How priceless is your unfailing love, O God! 

   People take refuge in the shadow of your wings. 

They feast on the abundance of your house; 

   you give them drink from your river of delights. 

For with you is the fountain of life; 

   in your light we see light. (Psalm 36:7-9)

The more we understand that we are God's children, the greater our sense of abundance. God is the fountain of life from whom all good and perfect gifts come to YOU!

The next question is: How can we cultivate a sense of generosity in our own lives? We have a tendency to poor-mouth. There is always someone that has more than we do. And so we forget how much we have. On the other end of the spectrum, we can compare ourselves to those who have less, but worry about being generous because that would decrease our 'piece of the pie.' The wonderful thing about God's economy is that it is expansive. When we are generous with our finances or with our words, it reverberates in the recipient's life taking on greater proportion than we can imagine. Often times that welling up overflows into the lives of those around them.

 

Here is a real-life example. I knew a gentleman in another city who was homeless. He came looking for a handout to get a little food and serve his addiction. God moved my heart with compassion so I took him out to lunch. We developed a relationship over time that was so much more important than the little financial help I was able to give him. He had been estranged from his family, had no close friends, and no job. What touched him the most was that I cared enough about him to set him up with job interviews. We talked honestly about his habits that destroyed his family relationship and continued to plague him. I visited him and another friend of his in the hospital. And we prayed. Generosity, I found out, is not about how much we have, but how much we care. It has less to do with amounts of money than amount of time and love.

So many people here at Munholland demonstrate the generosity of God through our life together as well as through local missions. One of the more beautiful demonstrations of generosity is those who tutor elementary age children for an hour each week at Trinity Christian Community. I always hear the same thing when I talk with those generous spirits: the abundance of God comes back into their lives so much more than they give. We truly serve a good, beautiful, and generous God. I encourage every member to serve in one of our local missions. Contact Betsy White or Morgan Clark through the church office, 504-834-9910. Experience the joy of God's generosity flowing through your life.

Blessed to be a Blessing

Jonathan

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