Dang….lots of things being revealed to me about myself of late. I mean, it’s what I prayed for God to do but I’m always a little unprepared when He actually points it out. This time it was through a sermon we received at a service we were checking out.
Don’t be so focused on your future financial security that it stops you from being generous now.
~ Ken Shigamatsu
That statement really jumped out at me. I started to think about how we’d plan for RRSP’s, TFSA’s, mortgage paydowns, getting maximum tax shelter benefits, etc etc etc….but speaking for myself, I have no plans for giving generously now. I thought about how I griped about BC bottle depots not giving me back the few cents for USA bought water bottles. And some of the furniture I wanted to sell to make a few bucks. I am convicted. I am ashamed.
In that moment the Holy Spirit also brought to mind something C.S. Lewis wrote in Mere Christianity. (One of my favorite books!) Charity isn’t true charity unless you are giving beyond what you can afford. Don’t know about you, but what a radical concept about the depth of what true giving and true generosity means!! I’m always looking at the cost to myself. And when I do give, it’s certainly well within what’s affordable as to not impact my other financial plans. Again, convicted. Ashamed.
In line with the post on compassion, I think these two qualities feed off each other. To be generous with your time in opening your life to others to hear each other’s needs, as well as to be generous with the finances and materials we’ve been blessed with in providing for each other’s needs. I daresay we all know these are very good qualities to have, but living it out in practice seems to be much harder. And it’s such a timely challenge as we celebrate the immeasurable gift we’ve been given in Christ Jesus.
Skywalker shared that God’s been speaking and convicting him similarly. We can encourage each other! So we’re praying we’d recognize the opportunities to be generous. We pray we’d be people who generously love on others. Not just at Christmas but on a daily basis as a transformed way of Life. There’ll be hypocritical moments…but inner change is always a longer process than I want it to be. Financial security is a huge thing to let go of. Baby steps! Thankfully, God is faithful and gracious!