Season of Generosity
I recently wrote about the holiday season being a “season of joy” for some, but a season of needed redemption for others. For so many, it really is a season of sadness, a season of depression, a season of wishing for a better life. People are desperately in need of a Savior.
But there is a solution. It is also a season of generosity!
I’ve had the opportunity to interact with many generous people in my nonprofit career. Everything from the single dad who generously gives $10 per month, to the successful businesswoman who provides a leadership gift to fund the launch of a new program.
Here is the thing – God calls us to be generous. However, in this context, generosity isn’t an amount – it is a heart position!
A few years back I decided to obtain a fundraising certification from a non-Christian entity. As I did, I was startled about something. As someone who was raised Christian, I had always been told things like “it is better to give than to receive” (tell me one child who believes that 😊) and told about the blessings that come from giving. As I obtained this certification, I was startled to learn that the non-Christian world believes this too! Here are a few things that I learned:
- Giving increases endorphin levels. You feel happy when you give.
- People who are generous have better overall health than those who don’t.
- People who are generous live longer than those who don’t.
At first I was surprised, but then I remembered. The Creator of the universe made us to be generous! It is a part of His plan! Our bodies operate optimally when we are in alignment with how He designed us.
In Luke 21: 1-4, we are reminded that it really isn’t the amount that is important. Jesus watched the rich people putting their gifts into the treasury, then He saw the widow putting in two mites (about $2 in today’s currency). The widow gave a gift that represented a significant sacrifice in her life – it likely represented her food budget for the day that she gave. Meanwhile, Jesus watched the rich putting in gifts that would be very impressive to the average person – but that were gifts which didn’t impact the lives of the people giving them. Their lives didn’t change by the gifts that they gave.
To my point above, God calls us to be generous, and generosity is not an amount…it is definitely a heart position. In fact, I believe that God smiles bigger at the person who sacrifices to give that $10 per month than He does at the multi-millionaire who gives a gift that doesn’t impact their daily life in the slightest bit.
The fact is that God doesn’t need any of our money – he created and is the true owner of everything in the universe! He does, however, want our heart. And as humans with free will, we have a decision as to whether or not to yield our heart to His.
I have come to realize that the act of generosity is not to fund a nonprofit or a program. This has been a big part of my learning journey since I started working in the nonprofit industry 11 years ago. The act of generosity is literally the sin of greed leaving our body. When we get to a point where we feel a gift leave our bank account, and yet still decide to make it because God has called us to, we are aligning with God in a very tangible way. We are saying “God, I trust you with my finances to the point where I WILL make that gift, because I know that everything that I possess is yours anyway. Doing this might mean that I can’t go on a Caribbean vacation next year, but I’m doing it anyway because I acknowledge that every dollar in my bank account is yours anyway”.
I am not telling you to donate to Rescue America in this post. In fact, I’m not telling you to donate anywhere. Again, God is the Creator and owner of all of the resources in the universe! I am asking you to open your heart. Ask God how He wants you to be generous in your life. Ask him, and truly mean it. I promise you…He will give you an answer. For some of you, it might mean carving time out of a busy schedule to donate your time. For some, it might mean giving a gift to Rescue America or another great cause.
There truly is no feeling like being generous. God created us to be this way!
If you feel God calling you to get involved in the ministry of Rescue America, click here to get involved.