Generosity of the Heart
Christmas is a time when we focus on giving, but also on getting if we are truly being honest. There is almost an unsaid expectation that if we give someone a gift then we will also get one and even as someone who tries not to give for this reason or with this reason in mind it can be difficult to not get caught in the trap of giving with the expectation of receiving. The problem with this kind of giving is that it is not really about giving. True giving occurs when there is no expectation of reciprocation, it occurs out of love and humility.
Phillipians 2:3-11, ESV
Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knew should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
When Jesus emptied himself to become a human in the form of a servant He did not do it out of ambition to be exalted, instead God exalted Him because of his willingness to empty himself and to die on the cross for the sake of man. He did it with a heart of generosity and compassion. Jesus gave all that He had to give and even though He prayed for another way for the Father’s will to be accomplished He still freely gave up His life so that we could have life.
A.W Tozer in “That Incredible Christian” wrote, “Before the judgment seat of Christ, my service will be judged not by how much I have done, but by how much I could have done.” If you are like me you can probably think about opportunities in which you could have done more to help someone in need. Opportunities in which you could have given more of something, maybe you could have given more compassion, love, support, time, money, or maybe even just more of your presence through a situation. There is nothing that we can do about what we could have done in the past at this point, but we can use the past to help us learn to do more in the future.
We each face opportunities to be generous each week. We face the choice of doing something for someone else at the cost of doing something for ourselves. If we have not been diligent in our finances and budgeting we may not be able to do what we want to do, but things do not have to stay that way. On the other hand if we are too focused on our finances and are unwilling to be generous we are faced with a completely different problem and this too must be changed.
How we view money and how we treat are finances are directly correlated. If you find yourself struggling with your view on money or in your actions with money I am here to help. Money is a huge part of our lives, but is something that often times does not get managed as well as is could and as a result our lives reflect how we manage our finances. If you are stressed over your finances for whatever reason, or if you find yourself thinking about your finances repeatedly throughout the day then it is time to change your thinking.
Your finances don’t have to cause stress, they can result in joy and freedom, but it takes intentionality in both our thinking and our actions. If you would like to talk to someone about how to change your thinking and/or your actions let me know, I would be happy to help. It is my goal to help people experience financial freedom by giving them the knowledge and understanding that they need to succeed, but only you can make the changes necessary to actually experience the change, the choice is yours.