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January 16, 2022 | Doug Sauder
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“Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.”—Colossians 3:2 (NIV)
Generosity doesn’t just happen. It’s not a chance occurrence, nor is it a one-time thing. The straight up truth is that generosity is a lifestyle; it’s something that takes commitment, discipline, intentionality, and most of all, God!
True, generosity is a response to our Father and His immeasurable generosity. It’s an outpouring of His love, compassion, grace, kindness, and the servant-hearted nature of Christ spilling out of us. It’s a byproduct of our growing, healthy discipleship journey—as we are conformed to the image of Christ, we begin to live and act more like Christ.
So, what advice does Paul offer you today? “Set your minds on things above.” If you want to embrace a generous lifestyle, if you want to create generous habits and build a legacy of generosity, you must have the same mindset as Christ, you must let Him work in you and through you, you must become an imitator of Christ, and you must first seek Him and His kingdom. When you do these things, you’ll start to see changes in the way you view the world, the way you view yourself and your purpose, and the way you view everything God’s given you and how you should use it.
So, with your mind on things above, start practicing generosity today. The reason I say practice is because generosity is most definitely a discipline, like working out or dieting. So start small and work your way up, just like you would exercise.
When you see the effect of generosity through consistent, small gains, it will become its own reward and you will see it as an opportunity, not a duty—a response to God, not a responsibility that must be checked off.
Generosity can be the new apologetic, the new evangelism. It can be the catalyst for a gospel revolution in our city and world. If you look at early Church history, you can see that the Church was respected for being generous. This was a huge contrast to the established Roman culture. It’s the same way today. Western culture is immensely self-driven, self-motivated, and self-centered. It’s all about me, me, me . . . What do I get out of it? What’s in it for me? I’m looking out for number one. You do you, let me do me. I have to do what’s best for me. You get the point.
Let’s be different, Christ-follower! Let’s put on Christ and live a lifestyle of lavish, extravagant, service-oriented, excited, joyful generosity! Let the Church be known once again for being generous, not motivated by a works-mentality, but by a desire to glorify God.
DIG: What does Christ-like, generous living look like?
DISCOVER: What does generous living look like in your life? What little or big things are you currently doing? What things are you doing that you can eliminate to free you up to become more generous?
DISPLAY: Start practicing generosity today. Some things you can easily make a regular part of life include tipping your server a dollar more or spending an extra five minutes to stop and actually pray for someone right then and there instead of just telling them you’ll pray for them. Once per week, pay for someone in a line behind you at a toll, coffee shop, or gas station. Have intentional relationship-building phone calls with family and friends (new and old). Practice forgiveness and letting go of grudges—especially in your marriage.
Danny Saavedra is a licensed minister who has served on staff at Calvary since 2012, managing the Calvary Devotional and digital discipleship resources. He has a Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling and Master of Divinity in Pastoral Ministry from Liberty Theological Seminary. His wife Stephanie, son Jude, and daughter Zoe share a love of Star Wars, good food, having friends over for dinner, and studying the Word together as a family.