A Lifestyle of Generosity

A Lifestyle of Generosity

Our society lives a lifestyle of accumulation.

  • We can’t wait to buy the next trendy thing, because we hope it will make us happy, or cool, or popular, or successful.
  • We buy things we don’t need.
  • We buy more than we need, so we never risk running out.
  • We keep things we no longer use.

We accumulate so much stuff we have to rent storage units, because it won’t all fit in our houses. Yet we don’t stop, because the accumulation mindset will never be satisfied.

Instead, I want to live a lifestyle of generosity. A life characterized by gratitude for every good thing God has given me, and a willingness to use all of it for his work.

Not an easy task, when we are bombarded by advertisements and social media posts of perfect cakes and gorgeous home décor. How do I fight the accumulation lifestyle?

Here are a few ideas:

  • First and foremost, I must remember that ultimately everything I own belongs to God, and that he has promised to meet all my needs. This means I don’t need to stockpile in case he doesn’t come through. Instead I will believe that God will provide all I need, when I need it. (And often not before then.) Hoarding what I might need someday is not an act of faith.
  • Start a gratitude journal. The more I pay attention to the blessings that surround me, the easier it is to remain grateful for what I already have. (If you are not a fan of journaling, start each day by mentally listing three things you are genuinely thankful about. Force yourself to come up with new ones each day.)
  • Ask of each object I own, “What is your plan for this, Lord?” This implies being willing to let go of things that can better serve another family, or that are hindering me from best serving God in my current phase of life. Do I hold all he has given with open hands, or am I clutching some things tightly to my chest?
  • Look for other areas in my life where I am tempted to accumulate. Do I long for praise, attention, or recognition? Perhaps I need to remind myself that my value is not based on my achievements, but on God and his love for me. Once I have reaffirmed my worth, I can be generous with praise and affirmation of others, instead of longing to hog it all for myself.

Will you join me in pursuing a lifestyle of generosity?

How do you fight the constant temptation to accumulate?

 And if you give even a cup of cold water to one of the least of my followers, you will surely be rewarded. Matthew 10:42 NLT

About Lisa Betz

Lisa Betz writes from an empty nest perched on a wooded Pennsylvania hillside. When not volunteering at the school, church or library, she writes about life, both now and two-thousand years ago.

Comments

  1. Good thoughts, Lisa. We downsized when we moved and it has been an eye-opener. I got rid of lots of stuff and have more to go through. Stuff doesn’t make me happy. Jesus brings me joy.

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  2. It can be alarming to realize how much our stuff controls our lives. And yet, how hard it is to let go of stuff. We need that daily renewal of our minds to remember that stuff will never satisfy, but a relationship with Jesus does.

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  3. Timely post for me as I am in the process of moving and I have given away stuff, thrown away stuff, and sold stuff and I still have to rent a storage unit. All this stuff will someday pass away and we won’t even remember having it! Thanks for your thoughtful post.

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  4. Wow! I don’t consider myself one who wants to get more and more stuff, yet the things that have accumulated over the years can fit into one of the categories you mentioned. It is time for me to start asking God the question, “What is Your plan for this?”

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  5. And guess what the sermon topic was this Sunday… Generosity. Clearly I need to do more praying and listening about my heart regarding those areas I still hold onto too tightly.

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  6. Wonderful thoughts here! And so timely as we approach the holidays. I’m guilty of the buying more so I don’t run out. That, too, is something that requires trust. Thank you for reminding me of this. 🙂

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  7. The more I think about trust, the more aware I become of areas where I fail to trust as I should. But God is merciful and patient! May I someday hoard time with him rather than books or magazine articles or empty boxes.

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