“Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers and sisters. Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.”
// James 1:17
I sometimes catch myself living like I have some kind of an honor to uphold. Almost like in order to maintain some form of moral stability, I will be generous to others. But upholding honor or maintaining a moral standard is no reason to be generous. When I love, serve or give from my own strength, my generosity is like a shifting shadow, reflecting whatever capacity I find myself to have for that particular season. We are able to live generously because God is the ultimate giver. His strength and consistency is a rapid river, running above, around and over any worldly action we can muster up on our own. I hear Him asking me, “Do you get that? Have you let that sink in?”
Someone once told me that when you pray for things, like more patience or clarity, they aren’t just sprinkled on you from Heaven. Instead, when you ask for the ability to be more generous towards others or towards the church, God gives you opportunities to step out in generosity and giving. Being generous simply means embodying a readiness to give more than is necessary or expected. But we must not be deceived into thinking our generosity is about us, but rather it’s about God and what He is doing in and through us.
Giving is an opportunity to step out in faith and in action, through our time, emotions, energy and finances. God himself gives generously without finding fault, so we also, through His strength, can imitate His example. My prayer is that God would continue to open our eyes to all that He is, the ultimate giver, and that truth would fill our hearts full to overflowing in generosity!
// Janel Navran