A Bigger Pie?

Do you know any really generous people?  Most likely your immediate thought was about money. Generosity includes dollars, but it is a larger issue of the heart, a way of life that enriches the giver.  Stephen Covey, author of 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, borrowed a Biblical concept and coined that phrase, “abundance mentality.”  He teaches that IF we believe there is a limited amount of resources – financial or otherwise – we will protect our stores and scramble to increase our wealth. If we believe that resources can be multiplied, we will give more readily. 

Put in plainer terms, if we think the size of the pie is fixed, we will grab for our piece first but if we believe that more pies can be baked, we will find joy in creating opportunities for everyone.

Jesus says it this way.  If you give, you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full measure, pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, and running over. Whatever measure you use in giving—large or small—it will be used to measure what is given back to you.” (Luke 6:38, NLT)  It is the law of harvest.  Your harvest will be in proportion to your planting. Plant much, reap much.  The principle goes far beyond dollars and church offering plates. Generosity includes understanding of others, patience, forgiveness, and encouragement.  

People who hold grudges, who insist that others meet their expectations, are soon complaining that no one cares for them, feeling like the world is against them, often lonely and isolated. They become cynics, unable to see or hope for the goodness of life.  Who built the walls behind which they live? They did!  I know others who readily forgive, who refuse offense, who offer encouragement and they find themselves encouraged.  Even when those great-hearted people are misunderstood or maligned, their magnanimous heart absorbs the blow and returns a blessing!  A person simply cannot be cynical and critical as well as generous.

Christian, we need look no further for an example than our Lord. “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich.” (2 Corinthians 8:9, NIV)  John explains the root of a generous heart- “We love because he first loved us.” (1 John 4:19, NIV)  God’s grace, shown to us in Jesus, secures us so that we are able to set aside selfishness. Meditate on that! Pray for a revelation of the love of God, the grace of Christ Jesus, and let those truths make you new, inside out.

Paul speaks an inspired word to us. “Just as you excel in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in your love for us—see that you also excel in this grace of giving. …” (2 Corinthians 8:7, NIV) That word, ‘grace,’ comes from the NT Greek word, ‘charis,’ which describes any act or quality that brings pleasure, joy, benefit, or delight. Our generosity is a grace, a gift designed to bring joy to our family, our friends, and our world. We counter the ‘dog eat dog’ attitude that is so common in our human experience with generosity.

The word from the Word speaks eloquently to us. Meditate on these words of Jesus and pray to that person who is known as ‘generous.’  “Stop judging others, and you will not be judged. Stop criticizing others, or it will all come back on you. If you forgive others, you will be forgiven. If you give, you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full measure, pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, and running over. Whatever measure you use in giving—large or small—it will be used to measure what is given back to you.” (Luke 6:37-38, NLT)

May we find many ways to grace our world today, leaving a trail of people touched by joy, blessed by our generous spirit, to the glory of the One who first loved us! Amen.

(Video of this blog at this link)

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10,000 Reasons (Bless The Lord)

Bless the Lord, O my soul,
O my soul!
Worship His holy name!
Sing like never before
O my soul.
I’ll worship Your holy name.

The sun comes up, it’s a new day dawning.
It’s time to sing Your song again!
Whatever may pass and whatever lies before me,
Let me be singing when the evening comes.

You’re rich in love and You’re slow to anger.
Your name is great and Your heart is kind.
For all Your goodness I will keep on singing,
Ten thousand reasons for my heart to find.

Bless the Lord, O my soul,
O my soul!
Worship His holy name!
Sing like never before
O my soul.
I’ll worship Your holy name.

And on that day when my strength is failing,
The end draws near and my time has come.
Still my soul will sing Your praise unending,
Ten thousand years and then forevermore.

Worship Your holy name
Worship Your holy name

Jonas Myrin | Matt Redman © 2011 Said And Done Music (Admin. by EMI Christian Music Publishing)

SHOUT! Music Publishing (Admin. by EMI Christian Music Publishing)

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