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I always find it interesting and funny how God's timing works. My prayer lately has been that I will find ways to use my time generously serving others. Well, a few days ago, I was doing a devotional and the lesson was on "Sharing the Gift of Generosity." Perfect timing right?
The holiday season, Thanksgiving in particular, is a time to reflect on all that we have, a time to be thankful, a time to be grateful, gracious, and generous. It seems like an easy task, but I feel like some days, it can be the hardest thing to accomplish.
In the "digging deeper" section of the devotional, there were a series of questions asked and boy did I have the answers to those questions. But, my answers didn't tell a story of me being generous. Just the opposite. I have a story to tell on how I felt prompted to be generous to another, but didn't act upon it.
A few weeks ago, I ran up to the Dollar General in town to get a few things I needed. I had all of my purchases and was standing in line waiting to be checked out. The girl working the cash register was joking with the girl in front of me about how it was her first day and she was trying to check her out without having to call up her fellow co-worker for help. She said something along the lines of how she didn't want to have to ask for help. And I thought to myself, well, if you don't ask for help, you can't learn. But, that's another post for another day. Eventually, she was able to run the girl's card and we were well on our way to getting this line moving. Or so we thought. The clerk ran the card a couple of times and eventually called for help from her co-worker. Her co-worker comes up and swipes the girls card and then informs her that there is no balance on her card. She has nothing in which to pay for her bag of groceries. I look over at the girl as she starts to say that that must be a mistake, she just had money on her card. Her face immediately changed from happy and joking to confusion and sadness. I stood there with my wallet open, fingers on a $20 bill, and watched as the girl walked out the door. Without her bag of groceries. And I stood there, immediately feeling defeated, as I had just ignored what I truly believe was a prompting from the Holy Spirit.
The perfect way to display generosity was right in front of me and I let it walk out the door.
God wants to fill you with His generosity.
The question from the devotional that made me think the most said, "Have you ever felt compelled to do something generous for someone else but failed to act? How did the decision affect you? How did the decision affect the other person?"
Clearly, I failed to act in this situation and it has stuck with me. I can't help but think about how I wasn't obedient in what the Spirit wanted me to do. And I also can't help but think about how the girl had to walk away without groceries, when she didn't have to. Now, I don't know the girls complete situation or her story. She may have come back into the store a few minutes after I left and successfully picked up her bag of groceries. Or, she may not have returned that night. Either way, I can't help but think of how I didn't act.
When I think of all the ways that God has blessed me and all the ways that He has been generous to me, I can't help but want to show that to others. God's generosity satisfies all of our desires, it gives good gifts, and God's generosity knows what we need.
When we discover the gift of God's generosity in our lives, we can't help giving to others.
That day in Dollar General was my chance to be generous with my money. But, to show generosity to others, you don't always have to dish out some cash. We can use our free time, volunteer, time with our family, our passions and our talents to show generosity to others.
When I left the store that night, I vowed to myself that if I was ever in that situation again, I would act on it. I would be obedient. I'm not saying that every time I'm at the store I will pay for someone else. There may be times where I financially won't be able to. But, when a moment like that presents itself again, I don't want to pass it up.
I want to choose to be generous. I want to give to others things they need. Whether it is a bag of groceries, money for gas, a card in the mail, or a listening ear.
I want to pass on the generosity that God has shown to me.
What better time to start than this holiday season.
What better time to start than today.
Generosity is contagious.
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