“A generous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed.” Proverbs. 11:25
I’ve been speaking to you about generous living - giving of yourself for the sake of others. This is how Jesus lived and as his followers, we want to do likewise. Doing this is not what most people expect in our day. Living for ourselves, for our personal benefit, is not only assumed but is encouraged and applauded.
Jesus teaches us a different way that accomplishes a lot of good stuff. Generosity is a lifestyle that constantly looks for opportunities to give. Obviously the recipients of the giving are blessed. But so is the giver blessed. In fact, God’s word tells us that the measure we use to bless others is the measure God uses to bless us (Luke 6:38). And the best part is that God is praised when Christ’s followers are generous towards others (Matthew 5:13-16).
Generous with our thanks. The world is a better place when people are thankful.
Generous with our grace. Relationships are strengthened when people are not critical or judgy but are gracious and forgiving towards each other.
Generous with our time. People need people who will give of themselves to serve. That’s the backbone of building communities of love that will endure and prosper.
That’s what I going to speak about this Sunday. Being generous with your time is something you may not think you can afford. You may feel like you don’t have enough time for yourself or your present activities, so how can you find time to give to others?
Busyness is a common theme in our day. It is rare to hear someone complain that they have too much time on their hands. But what are we busy doing? Are they things that have redemptive value? Are they about building things that will endure? Are they energizing and life-giving? Are they good investments of our time that will produce a good return of the things that really matter?
I’ve been working at getting this right for a very long time. I battle with the feelings of being somewhere between not doing enough for others and being overextended by trying to be all things to all people. Can you relate to that? I know that most of you want to make your life count every day as a follower of Christ.
So what does that mean for any of us? We are all at different stages in our lives and no two of us have the exact same responsibilities to fulfill. What being generous with time looks like in my life will be different than what it looks like in yours.
Read Ephesians 5:15-17 over the next few days. Ask yourself what this is telling you as a life principle. Think about your time as a resource given to you by God. What you do with your time is a stewardship issue that requires wise management just as any other resource does. How does that perspective change how you decide to spend your time?
See you Sunday.