Touché February 16, 2017
Posted on February 17, 2017 by under Touché,

 

Generous

“A generous person will be enriched, and one who gives water will get water.” (Proverbs 11:25)

Does it pay to be generous? Proverbs says it does. Sociological studies say it does. Whether that comes from being less greedy and satisfied with what one has, or a return on investment that sees resources grow as giving grows, does not really matter. Generous people live longer, happier, healthier lives.
“…variety of kinds of practices of generosity are positively and significantly associated with five important good life outcomes. Giving money, volunteering, being relationally generous, being a generous neighbor and friend, and personally valuing the importance of being a generous person are all significantly, positively correlated with greater personal happiness, physical health, a stronger sense of purpose in life, avoidance of symptoms of depression, and a greater interest in personal growth.”
― Christian Smith, The Paradox of Generosity: Giving We Receive, Grasping We Lose

As with any study, so many factors go into it that it is hard to draw out details, but I know I want to learn the art of generosity because it reflects the generous gift that Christ has given. “For you know the generous act of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that by his poverty you might become rich.” (2 Corinthians 8:9)

A group from our church is at work Creating Congregational Cultures of Generosity. We met together last week and were opened up to the new landscape of giving in the church and society as well as the basics of understanding generosity. Shurawl Sibblies, Wes Joseph, Mason Johnson, Cyndy Warren, Michele Ledesma Baer and myself are this team. We are part of a learning community looking at what our church needs to understand in growing cultures of generosity in the 21st century. The language is different, but the basis is the same. When we understand that everything we have is a gift from God, we are invited to live each moment as a gift and see each dollar as a blessing.

I will speak about this on Sunday. We will not have a pledge drive or a stewardship challenge, simply an invitation to open up your heart and life to living generously. I hope you take it to heart not just to live longer, but to reflect Christ and his life lived within you. As I quoted in the message last week: “Aim at Heaven and you will get Earth ‘thrown in’: aim at Earth and you will get neither.” (C.S. Lewis, The Joyful Christian)

Generously Yours,

Taylor