I’ve long known that the Lord wants us to be generous with our time, talents, and resources. However, I only recently came to understand and embrace the purpose and power of generosity.
For twenty years, I climbed corporate ladders. My career progressed and the world poured praise on me. My work was valuable. It gave me a sense of pride and comfort, an identity.
Even as a Christian, I sought the approval of peers. I measured my value with the corporate measuring stick. Then I attended a women’s retreat with We Want More, and everything changed.
Suddenly, I realized that I had inherent value because I am God’s daughter. I don’t have to earn it through career, the approval of others, or anything else.
Soon after the retreat, I left my corporate HR executive position and moved into full-time ministry. Now, I get to bring the same healing to others that I so desperately needed.
A large part of our purpose is to serve others. To see needs and meet them. To give generously. Until spending time with Women Doing Well, I didn’t understand what generosity actually is.
Generosity is not a one-way street. It’s a two-sided coin, giving equal benefit to the giver and recipient. We know God can provide for any need any way He chooses. We wonder why He doesn’t just drop manna from heaven. It’s because He loves us, and He uses us to love others on his behalf. God, our creator and Father, blesses me—and He blesses you—with opportunities to be generous, to reflect his love.
Through the teaching at Women Doing Well, I have new eyes to see my giftings and passions not as means of self-fulfillment, but as vehicles to bless others.
I no longer have to search for my identity. I know who I am. I am a daughter of the King, and I have full access to His infinite resources. When I give of my time, talents, or resources, it is now a life-giving, joyful experience. Living generously is no longer something I have to do. It is something I get to do.
What freedom! But this freedom, this sense of identity, this generosity only comes in relationship with Jesus. Through that relationship, I can see that God wants me to use all my resources for His kingdom, where rust and moth do not destroy. But if I don’t fight for my relationship with Him, I can’t do that. I start to long for the things of earth. I begin seeking the world’s empty praise.
You may think I’m going to tell you to quit your job. That you can only find fulfillment away from corporate America. If this is you, take a deep breath and relax.
If your journey has you in a corporate position, praise God! If you love your job and you’re good at it, rejoice!
Your generosity journey won’t look like mine. It can’t. God has equipped each of His creatures with different passions, ensuring the needs of many are met. You can live a life of wholehearted generosity wherever you are.
Being generous doesn’t require a huge lifestyle change. It doesn’t require you to work for a non-profit or be a full-time missionary or make a vow of poverty. Being generous requires you to live out of the abundance that is yours in Christ. To listen to our Savior and give as He leads.
So if you’re ready to grow in generosity, spend time with God. Relish the fact that you’re His daughter. Ask for wisdom. Then listen as He speaks and obey.
What will generosity look like for you? I don’t know, but I promise it will be more rewarding and fulfilling than you can imagine.
By Kim Tingler
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