The joy and freedom of a generous heart

The joy and freedom of a generous heart

Years ago my husband and I heard a memorable sermon illustration about giving. The pastor talked about how a wealthy congregant came to him and said, “Do you have any idea how much money I make? How could I possibly give 10 percent away?” To which the pastor, replied, “Let’s pray together that God will reduce your income to a level where you feel comfortable giving 10 percent away.”

At that time, my husband and I were both in graduate school living on loans. We smugly thought, “That will never be us. When we have money, we will be generous.”

But the truth is giving is hard no matter how much you have. It’s a discipline and a posture of the heart.

For someone with my personality (type A and controlling), I want to hang onto what I’ve earned. I want to be safe and plan for eventualities. And when I do that, I feel like I am in control of my life. But then I realize the list of fallacies in my thinking. There is never enough money to feel complete or in control. I have earned nothing, and God has given me everything; not just money but also talents and time on earth.

On top of that, he poured out his love for me by sending Jesus. The God of the universe became poor for us to give us the ultimate riches – life with him in eternity. “That though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich” (1 Corinthians 8:9). God doesn’t need my gifts, but I need to give; it helps me remember what I have been given.

In order to cultivate a generous heart, we have found that disciplined, regular giving, even when it starts small, is habit forming and is a regular reminder for our family that all we have comes from God and we have done nothing to earn it.

During the summer, many of us fall out of habits. We slow down, and some take time off. In fact, church attendance and giving are both affected during these months.

At City Church, there are so many who regularly support our mission; we are so grateful for that. If you are a part of City Church and not giving regularly, I encourage you to consider it. You can give weekly during the service or set up regular giving here. It is my prayer that you will experience the joy and freedom that comes from a generous heart.

Valerie Tompson
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