Wednesday, March 16, 2011
Giving of me Graciously
Willing Wednesday Time...
As you can see, after combining the blogs, I have made wonderful Wednesdays the day that I will focus on "Giving of Me Willingly". Today I'm focusing on giving "graciously".
I spent some time looking at the definition of "gracious" this morning and the definition I felt best described what I'm talking about said: "characterized by.....generosity of spirit."
How often do you give? In any avenue? I give of my time, attention, labor, love, care, etc. at my home to my children and husband on a minute to minute basis. I give of my talents to my customers and always try to provide the most personal and top quality products. I give to my friends when I have the opportunity to pay something forward, and I give to charities, the offering plate, and any time I see a need that I can fill.
Now that you've thought about where you give, think about HOW you give. The bible is very clear about having a giving spirit and sharing it freely. It is clear on where your heart should be when you give. I know there are those who give to be thanked, but there are also those who give out of the goodness of their hearts, but with out the generosity of their spirits.
We all know that in giving we receive so much more, so why do people sometimes feel burdened by their giving? Are you tithing because you feel "obligated", or because he gave it to you and giving back to him what is his is the least you can do?
When you do a favor for a friend, is it because "that's what friends do", or is it because your heart wouldn't let you allow someone to need if you have the means to give.
For me this is so much deeper than money. Its more about time and attention, really. I want to be the type of person who, when I offer to help someone, I make sure that I really seek out what would be most helpful to them. Not just giving in the way I think will solve their problems. I want to insert my heart into their needs and really hear them instead of putting my own band aid on their need leaving them the same or worse than when I found them. I want to give with GENEROSITY OF SPIRIT, and not based at all on my own thoughts and desires.
Take some time when approaching areas that you are giving and make sure you are truly helping. If your friend has an emotional need, don't just buy them a gift to represent sympathy. Go. Sit. Listen. Comfort. Give generously of you SELF.
If someone is suffering financially, don't take them on a shopping spree, or treat them to a night out to "relax". Give any financial efforts you have (even the tiny ones) to the real problems. Don't change one night. Change their future.
If someone needs Jesus, don't ONLY live as a good example. Give verbally and TELL them about Jesus.
I'll leave you with a small story that I may have previously shared, but it fits.
I believe that as my brother's keeper, I am compelled to step in with generosity of spirit any time my brother is in need. This is especially true of parents and their children.
A coworker's daughter was beginning to get into trouble in school. In 10th grade she was making the wrong friends and her grades were falling. Instead of punishing her or motivating with gifts or threats, my coworker gave her daughter the very best gift I have ever witnessed a mother in this situation give. She gave her daughter graciously of herself with generosity of spirit. She pulled her daughter out of school and quit her job to immediately homeschool her. They focused on the school work, but dove deep into their mother/daughter relationship. She carefully instructed her daughter on their family values and beliefs. They got more involved with their church together and my friend saved her daughter. She left no stone unturned and held nothing back, expecting only the faithfulness of the Lord to bless her generosity and giving by healing whatever was going wrong in the life of her daughter.
Give of yourself willingly with full generosity of spirit. This life is fleeting. Do what you can for one, what you wish you could do for all. Paying it forward will result in the same from whoever you help.
Happy Willing Wednesday