I wrote a while back about motives. It was in the week where we talked about all the reasons we don’t move into the life God has called us to live. If you haven’t check out week 5 (this might suck, only if, beauty and brokenness). I highly recommend it. It’s really important stuff.
But I was thinking again about motives and generosity. I was thinking how I keep encouraging all of you to get into people’s lives, to be generous with your time and your money and to recklessly love people.
I was thinking how I continue to tell you that this is life you were made for, this life of compassion is the life you were meant to live. Life in relationship and community, a life marked by love.
I was wondering though if I may not stress enough a point that I think was best articulated by Bonhoeffer when he wrote “When Christ calls a man, he bids him come and die.”
I hope I haven’t given you the impression this is easy. I’ve said before, while it may be simple it’s not easy.
Giving sucks sometimes.
Giving hurts sometimes.
People hurt sometimes.
Relationships hurt sometimes.
There’s that old idea that it’s better to give than receive, and while it may be better it’s not necessarily easier or going to feel better. Sometimes it’s going to feel like it wasn’t worth it.
But we are called to die to ourselves, our desires and be obedient. Obedience isn’t always fun and it is going to require us to do things we don’t want to.
C.S. Lewis wrote “I do not believe one can settle how much we ought to give. I am afraid the only safe rule is to give more than we can spare. In other words, if our expenditures on comforts, luxuries, amusements, etc., is up to the standard common among those with the same income as our own, we are probably giving away too little.”
I’m asking you to be generous. I’m asking you to live the life you were made to live and it will be better but not necessarily easier. It may have more hurt, more pain but I will also have more depth, more love, more meaning.
Be generous. Give knowing it will hurt and stretch you.
I need to be reminded over and over, I don’t give to get something back. I don’t give for a reaction or praise. I give because God has called me, and you, to this life where we die to ourselves and place others first. Called to be obedient to loving others more than myself.