You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God. 12This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of the Lord’s people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God.
(2 Corinthians 9:11-12)
“I wish I had been more generous with my time,” Constance said, days before passing from this life – a life she had spent teaching American literature at Georgetown University, coaching pastors, acting, pursuing artistic endeavors and managing her farm.
Are we generous enough with our time?
Karen, a deacon at her church, is in the habit of generosity. She pays attention to others, she practices gratitude and she shares it. Karen is famous for the notes she sends out regularly to members and visitors of the church, among others, including shut-ins, old friends, new friends and neighbors. Her Pastor is a recipient of those cards, as is the Pastor’s mother, who periodically can attend worship services there. These little cards, with an average of three scripted lines, bring unexpected joy to all those who receive them. Such acts spur others to a habit of generosity.
Consider every letter or card you send a love letter of sorts. Instead of signing only your name on any Christmas card you send, add a personal note; it will bless the receiver. Everyone needs to know they matter. Encourage young ones to send a card to someone they don’t know, such as to a local fire or police department, and thank the men and women for putting their lives on the line every day for those they don’t know. Acknowledge those in the service industry by name. Write a positive review online or wherever the opportunity is, giving those who serve you high marks. Consider leaving a larger-than-average tip. Waitresses, for example, make on average less than $3 an hour. Goodwill is contagious.
Pray that the Lord will teach us through experience the joy of being generous with our time. Ask God to show us all of the ways that it enlarges our hearts and the hearts of the receivers.