Making Space for Generosity: Wk3

The Transformative Power of Generosity

We all have moments in our lives when we feel truly blessed. For me, these moments range from meeting a young boy at an RV campground pool who taught me about resilience, to lifelong friendships that began in 3rd grade, to the joy of serving an incredible church community. These blessings make me ponder the questions: Why give? Why be generous?

The Bible says in Proverbs 11:24-26, "Give freely and become more wealthy; be stingy and lose everything. The one who blesses others is abundantly blessed; those who refresh others are refreshed." In essence, God blesses us so that we can be a blessing to others.

The Happiness Paradox: Harvard Business Study
Contrary to popular belief, accumulating stuff doesn't make us happy in the long run. A Harvard Business Study involving 600 Americans from different income levels found that regardless of income, individuals who were generous reported being happier. This aligns with Acts 20:35, where Jesus says, "It is more blessed to give than to receive."

The Health Benefits of Generosity
In a society obsessed with health and wellness, why not make space for generosity? The spiritual and emotional health benefits are immense. Yet, it's hard to believe in practice. We often feel that our hard-earned stuff is ours to keep, forgetting that ultimately, everything we have is God's.

What does a lifestyle of Generosity do?

1. Transforms and Grows Us
Generosity is not just about material things; it's about the heart. Ephesians 5:1 urges us to "imitate God, therefore, in everything you do, because you are his dear children." When we live generously, we are transformed and grow more like Jesus.

2. Orients and Protects Us
The love of stuff can disorient us and even destroy us. 1 Timothy 6:17-19 teaches us to place our trust in God and to use our money to do good. This orientation towards God protects our hearts and minds.

3. Blesses Us and Others
2 Corinthians 9:12-13 tells us that our generosity will result in others giving glory to God. Winston Churchill once said, "We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give." Our generosity not only blesses us but also makes our faith and love real to others.

The Joy of Generosity: A Personal Anecdote
I remember when I was hired to be the youth pastor at White's Chapel.  My mentor and friend, John McKellar took a chance on a young man still learning what it meant to be a Christian and a pastor. His generosity transformed my life. We all have someone who has been generous with us, and we know the transformative power it has had on our lives.

The Spiritual Truth
Your lifestyle of generosity makes your faith and love real to others. Psalm 11:25 says, "The one who blesses others is abundantly blessed; those who refresh others are refreshed." When we live a life of generosity, our souls find joy and refreshment.

Conclusion: The Better Blessing
Generosity is the key to enjoying the things that really matter and experiencing the better blessing. So, let's make space for generosity in our lives and experience the transformative power it has on us and those around us.

Closing Prayer
Father, we thank you for allowing us to become more like you as we learn to love and give. We trust that as we lean into generosity, we'll bless you, bless others, and be refreshed in the process. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen & Amen.