March 10, 2020

Generous Living

Written by Shana Schutte

Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – March 10, 2020

This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth. 1 John 3:16-18

If you’re like I have been in the past, perhaps you have thought of generosity strictly as the act of giving money to a person or organization in need. 

But generosity is more than giving financially. It’s an attitude of love that flows from our hearts into our actions: It comes through our hands to hug and give. It comes through our bodies to give time and talents. It flows from our mouths to grant grace, tenderness, and kind words. 

Like most people, I have had the humbling honor of giving in various ways over the years. But the generosity I have experienced as the result of being a part of a blended family has literally transformed me. 

Prior to marrying my husband, the thought of becoming a bonus mom definitely wasn’t on my bucket list. It sounded messy and heartbreaking and I didn’t want any part of it. 

But what I didn’t know was how God would joyfully change me and expand my heart through being a part of a blended family.  In ways I could have never imagined, the Lord has used my five bonus kids to teach me how to be more generous with love, talents, time, and money. 

Prior to marrying, while speaking with a friend on the phone, I shared my insecurities and fears about marrying a man with adult children. I felt inadequate and I didn’t like the idea of being considered an outsider.  But then she spoke a phrase the changed my perspective: “No one can have too many people loving them.” 

In that one sentence, God invited me to shift from being selfish and thinking about my own emotional safety, to thinking about giving generous love. . .to care for my bonus kids the way a mother would, and to accept them with joy.  He was inviting me to love them because He loves them. 

My friend’s comment has also helped me see that although I am not a biological mother, I still have an important role to play in my family, just like all family members do. And not only that, but receiving the call to love generously has been so much fun! 

The calling to love my bonus kids generously has shown up in family life in a variety of ways: I have found great joy in giving my time to bake birthday cakes; I have considered it an honor to share financially with our kids when they come to visit or on their birthdays and Christmas; It’s been a privilege to spend time with them when we are together. I have also loved encouraging them to spend time alone with their dad, to lay aside my own insecurities so they can have one-on-one time with him. 

I have learned that the ability to be generous in love and action is deeply rooted in the truth that I am not an extra family member that no one wants. I am a daughter of the King who is on an assignment to love generously and to let that love show in a variety of ways: through finances, talents, time, patience, and tender words. And, I have honestly discovered that in all my life there has been no greater honor. Giving generously has been a huge gift to me. It has expanded me and brought me so much happiness—and I wouldn’t change a thing. 

“In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive’” (Acts 20:35).

Prayer

Lord, please help me to remember that giving of my time, talents, and money isn’t only about others, it’s also about me. When I give, I grow to become more like you, and in this, there is liberating freedom and joy. Amen.


Application

Ask the Lord to expand you today and help you love more fully and to give generously out of that love in a variety of ways.


Related Reading

Matthew 6:19-21; 1 John 3:17; Galatians 6:2


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Generosity is more than giving financially. It’s an attitude of love that flows from our hearts into our actions. #WisdomHunters #generosity #Jesus #truth


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