You are my Lord, apart from you I have no good thing.”Psalm 16:2
My husband and I had an opportunity to attend a retreat focused on how to live more generous lives. The experience was so inspiring, I thought I’d share a few of the truths we came away with as well as questions to help you explore how God is calling you to use the treasures you’ve been given — your time, talents and money — to advance his Kingdom.
- It begins with a right view of ourselves and God. Paul said, “Everything comes from the Lord.” (Romans 11:36) Do you approach your giving knowing the source of everything you have, your intellect, talents, career and financial means is God? Soren Kierkegaard said, “Become nothing before God, learn to keep silent; in this silence is the beginning, which is, first to seek God’s Kingdom.” That is where we begin.
- “Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Matthew 6:21) Where we spend our money reveals our idols. If you looked at your monthly spending, what idols would it reveal? (And then try the same exercise with your calendar.)
- God calls us to continue advancing toward his Kingdom every day of our lives, so our giving is never done. In 1 Thessalonians 4, 9-10, Paul says, “Now concerning brotherly love you have no need for anyone to write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love one another….But we urge you to do this more and more.”
- Generosity is life’s greatest source of joy. We saw story after story of people giving radically and what all of these unique, inspiring stories shared was overwhelming joy. It makes sense that if we are created in the image of The Giver, as we imitate him we experience Christlike joy. Where can you begin today to increase your joy?
- I’ll conclude with where our retreat began. The first question we were asked was, “What memory from your childhood shaped your ideas about giving.” As you think of your children or those you influence then, what are you doing to train them to be not just donors but disciples?
Learn more about Generous Giving conferences here. Or feel free to email me to find an upcoming local retreat.
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I love #5. I never gave this a thought. I was raised in a Lutheran church and as children, we had our own small offering envelopes that held only coins. It was divided in half. One side was for the church, the other side for missions. My three children grew up to be Missionaries. And I live of life of generous giving. Wow! This stemmed from childhood! Thank you for sharing your retreat with us. This plaque hangs in my bedroom: Live life generously and graciously just as God does toward you.
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Wow! That is a generous life, Diane! Thank you for sharing. I love the plaque’s message.