Friday, January 21, 2011

Generous Giver

So often, I fall into the trap of thinking, "Well, I already gave enough. Isn't this enough? I'm tired. I deserve a break..." and it goes on and on.

Reading the book Crazy Love by Francis Chan has really convicted me about how inaccurate and selfish some of my thoughts can be, but has also opened my eyes to see what a radical and loving God we serve and believe in. I forget this most of the time. God is the giver of life - and He gave and sacrificed more for us than we can ever imagine.

A powerful quote from the book: "We are always the recipients of His great and manifold gifts. Not the givers. Never the givers. David Livingston, a missionary to Africa during the 1800s, once said during a speech to students at Cambridge University: 'People talk about the sacrifice I have made in spending so much of my life in Africa... I never made a sacrifice. We ought not to talk about sacrifice when we remember the great sacrifice which He made who left His Father's throne on high to give Himself for us." 

I think God has slowly been showing me how much I have been blessed through 2010. I was convicted of my small faith when I thought back on 2010 and how things were so uncertain, yet God carried me through and provided abundantly. Sure, I don't make a lot of money right now, but it's enough to live on and give a little bit too. He has convicted me to give to friends that are on staff and support others as they do missions work. I know this giving does not always apply to money, but this is one area in my life where I often feel anxious, and I'm constantly reminded that what I am given is not just for me - God provided it. If I had to choose one big lesson I learned during 2010, it's that God has the perfect plan for our lives and He will provide, even when it seems uncertain. Everything in my life belongs to Him, ultimately - my job, my friends, my family, and the list goes on. Everything that I have, I need to learn to hold with an open hand and allow God to reveal His plans in His own timing. Most days, it just takes a reminder that God gave everything for me to knock the "I-just-want-this-for-me" mentality out of my heart sometimes!

Life lessons are tough to learn... but I'm getting there!

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