“Instruct them to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share…” -1 Timothy 6:18
Do you have a focus for your life this year? Not a New Year’s resolution that you’ll keep for 2 weeks and drop it. A focus, a goal, a clear vision as to what your life will be about.
As I was driving the other day, I felt what I believe was the Lord impressing upon my heart His focus for me in 2017. Generosity. If you were to ask me at any point over the past year: Wes, do you want to be a generous person? My answer, like many of us, would have been yes. But with what was I generous? Where was I generous? How? When? I don’t believe I would have had those clear answers.
I pulled out a new notebook I got for Christmas and wrote: “Goal for 2017: Generous” at the top of the first page. I spent some time praying as I wrote down 3 specific areas. I like vision statements or whatever you call it, to be short, sweet & easily “remember-able”.
1. My Faith
I was once a sinner headed for Hell and the Holy Spirit convicted my heart through somebody’s witness to me, and Jesus saved my soul. That lady that shared the gospel with me was generous with her faith and that spilled onto me, and eternal salvation was the result. I’m sure grateful she wasn’t too embarrassed, too busy or too afraid to do so. I don’t want to be a hoarder with the eternal gift God has given me. I share my faith in Jesus, but I want to take it to another level…a generous level. I intend to point more conversations toward Jesus when I get the chance. Without being obnoxious, I want to ask more probing questions into people’s lives both friends and strangers. I want to ask them what they believe and why and then tell them how Jesus saved me and blessed me with peace and joy. Tell them how Jesus called me to go into the world as a Christian and tell others they too can believe and be saved.
2. My Service
I want my family and I to serve people in the Name of Jesus more than we ever have. I want serving to be even more of a lifestyle, an increasing culture of my household. I desire my kids to have their hearts infected with a passion to serve others and begin to lift up their eyes and notice these moments on their own. As I see and hear of needs where the Morris family has what it takes to be of help, I want to mobilize and go engage it right away. I don’t know if that will mean shoveling driveways, changing flat tires, delivering food, firewood or clothes. It might mean visiting convalescent centers, people in the hospital or neighbors down the road. The point is: There is ample opportunity to serve generously and I believe Christ-followers should be the most generous people on Earth. Not to feel better about our own righteousness, but to bring glory to Jesus.
3. My Money
I’m not rich, but God has watched over me all the days of my life and has taken care of my needs beyond what I ever deserved. Many times He has provided for my family and I at the 11th hour through other people’s Spirit-led generosity. I want to be generous like that. Not tomorrow, not next week, not when I have more money in savings, not when my kids move out and the grocery bill is cheaper. Tomorrow may never come and should I breathe my last by midnight tonight, I want to die having been a financially generous person toward friends, strangers, missionaries, and my church. That may mean I leave better tips, pay for someone’s gas, someone’s groceries etc. I say again…this isn’t about my own self-righteousness, and it isn’t about a certain dollar amount. It’s about my own heart. Jesus said, “Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” I want to work hard to put my treasure in other people’s hands, and be happy doing so. Jesus said that will mean my heart is focused on those people, not myself. To ensure we aren’t all talk, Erin & I set aside an envelope the other day and wrote the word “GENEROSITY” on it. The plan is simple: We are going to put money in it as often as we can. Then as God leads us, we are going to give it away as often as we can.
I want my life to be more generous this year. What will your life be about?