“Our Savior kneels down and gazes upon the darkest acts of our lives. But rather than recoil in horror, he reaches out in kindness and says, “I can clean that if you want.” And from the basin of his grace, he scoops a palm full of mercy and washes away our sin.”
― Max Lucado,
Tuesday is my day to refocus, recharge, and realign. That focus tends to open up a window in my soul. Today these were the thoughts knocking about in my heart:
A generous spirit doesn’t keep score on who deserves generosity.
Freedom happens when your desire for connectedness becomes greater than your desire for correctness.
Critics will always be there…focus on the creator not the critic and you’ll find your life.
The best destinations have the hardest route…go anyway! #itsworththeeffort
Generosity is a brilliant word and a powerful concept. Kahlil Gibran states , “Generosity is giving more than you can, and pride is taking less than you need.” That is worthy of pondering for a bit.
From this word we understand other things better, like, generate, generator, generative.
Generosity generates something…
It creates something…
From nothing, generosity breathes life and regenerates something beautiful.
However, generosity is not simply about money and wealth. It is a lifestyle that is always humming with creative goodness that brings light to dark places, food to starving spaces and beauty to desolate places.
Steve Goodier sums up the scope well:
“Money is not the only commodity that is fun to give. We can give time, we can give our expertise, we can give our love or simply give a smile. What does that cost? The point is, none of us can ever run out of something worthwhile to give.”
Generosity also has the power to free us from a myopic life of self-everthing. Self-service, selfishness, self-reliance, self-worship. The worship of self has run across the borders of narcissism in our culture, and generosity has the ability to heal us of this most pernicious disease. The Buddha noted:
“Conquer the angry one by not getting angry; conquer the wicked by goodness; conquer the stingy by generosity, and the liar by speaking the truth.”
The following video is a commercial from Thailand…it reveals the power that a little generosity has to make the lives of others better, and when you do that you cannot escape the personal benefit generosity re-infuses into your own life.
That video causes an unsolicited smile to form on my lips…
Being generous feels good and the scientific stats reveal that generous people are healthier, happy and live longer lives that are worth living.
The Bible has scads of passages about generosity, here are a few to help you pray and invite a spirit of generosity into your life:
A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed.
Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 2 Corinthians 9:7
Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. Luke 6:38
Good will come to those who are generous and lend freely, who conduct their affairs with justice. Psalm 112:5
For if the willingness is there, the gift is acceptable according to what one has, not according to what one does not have. 2 Corinthians 8:12
Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. Luke 6:30
May you realize just how rich you really are and find yourself coming alive as you become a generous soul that gives especially when there is no chance of repayment.
Ravi Zacharias has always inspired, challenged, and taught me much. He has a way of speaking directly to the culture from a very profound and godly place. The following is taken from his book, “Recapture the Wonder” where he observes and articulates just what our kids are losing…
“In the 1950s kids lost their innocence. They were liberated from their parents by well-paying jobs, cars, and lyrics in music that gave rise to a new term —the generation gap.
In the 1960s, kids lost their authority. It was a decade of protest—church, state, and parents were all called into question and found wanting. Their authority was rejected, yet nothing ever replaced it.
In the 1970s, kids lost their love. It was the decade of me-ism dominated by hyphenated words beginning with self. Self-image, Self-esteem, Self-assertion….It made for a lonely world. Kids learned everything there was to know about sex and forgot everything there was to know about love, and no one had the nerve to tell them there was a difference.
In the 1980s, kids lost their hope. Stripped of innocence, authority and love and plagued by the horror of a nuclear nightmare, large and growing numbers of this generation stopped believing in the future.
In the 1990s kids lost their power to reason. Less and less were they taught the very basics of language, truth, and logic and they grew up with the irrationality of a postmodern world.
In the new millennium, kids woke up and found out that somewhere in the midst of all this change, they had lost their imagination. Violence and perversion entertained them till none could talk of killing innocents since none was innocent anymore.”
Everyday we have a number of choices set before us. A choice is a spiritual portal, an opportunity to exercise either faith or fear. In so many ways the truth of the matter is that making a choice is often the most spiritual thing you do.
Each choice carries an incredible amount of potential. You can choose one way and move closer to God, or choose another way and move away from God. Choice is the gift of freedom, but it also requires faith if we are to stay aligned with God throughout the day and move towards a God-centric future.
It has been said that we are the sum total of the choices that we made 10+ years ago, and who we will be in 10 years will be a result of the choices that we make today. In this sense, choices will change your future. The question is, are you making the choices that will create the best future.
Tonight, I did some meditating on great quotes about choices.
May the following thoughts about choices from others inspire you to see each of your decisions as a divine opportunity to move closer to God and experience the life He created you for!
“In any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing. The worst thing you can do is nothing.” ~Theodore Roosevelt
“God always gives His best to those who leave the choice with him.” ~Jim Elliot
“Every choice you make has an end result.” ~Zig Ziglar
“Destiny is no matter of chance. It is a matter of choice. It is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved.” ~William Jennings Bryan
“Of the blessings set before you make your choice, and be content.” ~Samuel Johnson
“The remarkable thing is, we have a choice everyday regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day.” ~Charles R. Swindoll
“Every thought is a seed. If you plant crab apples, don’t count on harvesting Golden Delicious.” ~Bill Meyer (1892-1957);Baseball Manager, Coach
“We who lived in concentration camps can remember the men who walked through the huts comforting others, giving away their last piece of bread. They may have been few in number, but they offer sufficient proof that everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms — to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.” ~Viktor Frankl
“Let us not be content to wait and see what will happen, but give us the determination to make the right things happen.” ~Peter Marshall
“You must never be fearful about what you are doing when it is right.” ~Rosa Parks
“Never, never be afraid to do what’s right, especially if the well-being of a person or animal is at stake. Society’s punishments are small compared to the wounds we inflict on our soul when we look the other way.” ~Martin Luther King, Jr.
“God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.” ~Dr. Reinhold Niebuhr
“What we call the secret of happiness is no more a secret than our willingness to choose life.” ~Leo Buscaglia
“Life is change. Growth is optional. Choose wisely.” ~Buddha
“We are our choices.” ~Jean-Paul Sartre
“You cannot continue on the same path and arrive at a different destination. Make the choice to have your actions reflect your goals.” ~Steve Maraboli
“Far too many of us value the freedom to choose rather than the choices that make us free” ~Erwin McManus
“On a daily basis we’re faced with two simple choices. We can either listen to ourselves and our constantly changing feelings about our circumstances, or we can talk to ourselves about the unchanging truth of who God is and what He’s accomplished for us at the cross.” ~The Cross-Centered Life
“Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Now I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, so that you and your descendants might live! ~Deuteronomy 30:19
“… choose this day whom you will serve … But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.” Joshua 25:15