As we consider a lifestyle of thanksgiving, former procrastinators, we remember gratitude comes from God’s grace toward us. We in turn, show grace to others – and this can be a form of generosity.
Generosity: How God’s Radical Grace Makes Us Givers by Tim Keller points out that generosity is not limited to money. It includes relationships, hospitality, etc. In other words, a generous spirit.
Too often I have a stingy spirit. I have so much going on I don’t feel free to give. The more I do what needs doing when it needs doing, the freer I am. The freer I am, the more generous my responses. When I’ve not been diligent and thus create a backlog of obligations, I’m stingier with my time and attention. What physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual obstacles block a generous spirit in me?
A generous spirit enables me to lay up lasting treasures in heaven rather than corruptible ones here on earth. Where I invest – money and time, energy, prayer, etc. – there my heart will be. Matthew 6:19-24
Scripture says our hearts will move toward the place where we give. The Lord knows we need to invest sometimes where we are not inclined to invest – time, money energy, prayer. He knows we actually want to have treasure that lasts in eternity with us, but we can be shortsighted and focus only here.
An area in which I really want to grow in generosity is praying for others – to grow beyond “Bless Susie” or “Help George and Martha.” This is an investment of time and thought I am inclined to put off.
I’ve been impressed to pray scripture especially for our local, state, and federal leaders. (1 Timothy 2:1-4) There is specific help and power in praying God’s words. We can start lifting up those in authority by praying we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. Scriptures on wisdom, courage, truth can guide us.
We can pray whatever scripture we’re reading that day – for ourselves, our family, our leaders. We can pray for salvation, guidance, protection, personal, family, and public lives.
When I whisper a short rote prayer and run off to do my thing, what leader is left to fight his or her battles alone? How can I complain? (Likewise for family, friends, missionaries.)
Maybe prayer for leaders will lead to the investment of God-directed action – another area of generosity. I enjoy the benefits of my community and country. What God-directed contribution do I make? Sometimes there’s an earthly avenue to heavenly investments.
- What worked well that you’ll want to repeat? What needed adjusting? (Think food, schedule, seating, etc.)
- What did you figure out about cooking ahead?
- As a traveler or guest, write that thank you note.
- Jot down new ideas about how to focus on gratitude.
- Note what you learned about new prayer needs for family and friends.
What leaders will you pray scripture for this week?