Questioning my Generosity

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February 28, 2013 by 
Filed under Daily Devotions

By Mollie Bond –

I’ve got a new five-year journal; it is a resolution of sorts. The journal isn’t a bit of space to write random thoughts. Rather, each page poses a question for each day of the year.

When you finish the first year, you start over, answering each question again, until all five years have been completed. Your answers to questions like, “What did you last eat?” and “What is your motivation?” or even more challenging: “When was the last time you were generous?” will reveal developments in your life and character.

As a follower of Jesus, I should give everything. But when was the last time I had given anything? Do time and effort count? I work hard for my boss. Does that count?

The question of generosity reminded me of the last time I did something unexpected. A lady in front of me at the grocery store didn’t have enough food stamps to cover the expense of baby formula. I added her formula to my bill, and wished her a good day. I wanted to take time to share the entire gospel. However, God held me back. Generosity is simple, random, and perhaps the loudest evangelist of all. In the end, I’m answering a question in a journal, and I realized that was the last time I was spontaneous in my generosity.

Jesus had moments when He had to keep moving, but He stopped to give compassion as in Matthew 15. The woman wouldn’t let up. Motherly instincts for her sick daughter prompted her persistence. As a Gentile, she might not have been at the top of the list of people Jesus needed to see that day. She followed Jesus to get what she wanted, knowing Jesus was on a mission. When He said his priorities laid elsewhere, the woman asked for a moment of compassion. Would He pick up the tab? Would He stop in his busy day to heal her daughter, even though she wasn’t on the list? He agreed. In a moment, Jesus made an exception in the spirit of compassion and generosity.

You may not have a journal to remind you to be spontaneous and generous, but Jesus gives us a spirit of compassion. Use it.

PRAYER: I may not be good at this generosity thing, but I know you will help me. Will you show me more how to keep my eyes open for moments of giving? I’m looking for the next opportunity.

“Then Jesus answered, ‘Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted.’ And her daughter was healed from that very hour” (Matthew 15:28 NIV).

Banana Leaf

Carrying buckets

Carrying buckets

“Jesus replied, ‘And you experts in the law, woe to you, because you load people down with burdens they can hardly carry, and you yourselves will not lift one finger to help them’”
Luke 11:46
Banana Leaf

Banana Leaf

 

Have you carried a bucket on your head? Haitians carry buckets and pots on their head. Sometimes, they take a banana leaf and wrap it into a circle and put it between their bucket and their head. The load is stabilized. The girl in the blue shirt in the center of the picture has a banana leaf under her bucket.
 
Maybe you have not carried a bucket on your head before. Maybe it is too much to carry. However, as believers we can supply help to those who are carrying the buckets. Think of it like giving them a banana leaf. Rather than doing something that is awkward, like carrying a bucket by yourself, maybe God is asking for you to give a “banana leaf.”
 
What is your banana leaf? What kicks your passion into gear? Most likely, that’s your banana leaf. What would help lighten the load, rather than increase burdens?
 

© 2013, Mollie Bond. All rights reserved. Originally published at www.molliebond.org.