One thing I love about my circle of friends is the culture of generosity that’s been established.
This is fitting for the Body of Christ, and it’s such a blessing both to receive and give.
I can’t even begin to describe the ways we as moms and friends provide for each other in the currency of hand-me-downs.
Last night I received two beautiful maxi dresses from one friend. Today two paper bags of kids clothes from another –oh, and she was in the middle of having a garage sale when I stopped by to pick them up. She could’ve easily sold these items, but preferred to bless me with them instead.
As I look around my home, much of what I have is the result of the generosity of others, many of whom are in the exact same financial and life-stage as I am.
It’s truly fascinating how, when we all share, everyone’s needs seem to be met. This is the mystery of God’s economy.
Describing the early church, Acts 2:44-45 says,
“All the believers were together and had everything in common. They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need.”
I have had the privilege of experiencing this type of community on different levels throughout my walk with Jesus. It’s an incredibly fulfilling, joyful and wonderful way to live.
This is how I feel about my present circles of friends, …and that’s not because of me.
You see, someone else shared first. Someone else loved me and sacrificed to bless me first –not to because she thought she would be re-payed, but because Christ’s love compelled her.
Luke 6:31-34 says,
“Do to others as you would like them to do to you. If you love only those who love you, why should you get credit for that? Even sinners love those who love them! … And if you lend money only to those who can repay you, why should you get credit? Even sinners will lend to other sinners for a full return.”
And how am I too respond but to love others in the same way? My friend (actually friends plural), taught me to be generous. But even if I hadn’t learned about mom sharing, even if this rewarding culture had never taken shape, God would’ve rewarded their generosity in His time.
But because of our new lives in Christ, a spark, a single faithful flame of generosity, can change hearts and shape culture. In fact, it often does. One faithful giver can bless and influence so many.
This culture is something that’s built over time, no doubt.
But how does it begin?
I think it begins with the one who says, “God, what would you have me do with my stuff?” –the one who then listens to God with open hands.
It begins with the one person who believes God will provide and chooses to sacrifice when they’d prefer to profit or keep.
Sometimes that means giving away that stuff we would’ve sold (if we know about a need).
Sometimes that means loaning out things we would’ve stashed away for any “just in case” future baby girls or boys, or any other potential future scenario.
I recently collected a box of favorite baby clothes for that very reason. I don’t particularly see myself having any more kids, but what if I do? And what if it’s a girl? So I kept my favorites. However, God prompted me not to let them sit in a box when I had a friend in need of baby girl stuff!
I will get them back most likely, although they will be worse for the wear. And you know what? That’s okay.
Proverbs 11:24 says,
“One person gives freely, yet gains even more; another withholds unduly, but comes to poverty.”
Giving generously comes down to trusting God. We’ll never be sorry for doing that.
Let me challenge you to put God to the test! Take a moment to pray and see if He brings any opportunities for generosity to your mind, specifically towards another Christian.
In this way, we act as the church and reflect God to a world that desperately needs Him.
Luke 12:15-21, Jesus talking:
“Then he said to them, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.”
And he told them this parable: “The ground of a certain rich man yielded an abundant harvest. He thought to himself, ‘What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.’
“Then he said, ‘This is what I’ll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store my surplus grain. And I’ll say to myself, “You have plenty of grain laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.”’
“But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’
“This is how it will be with whoever stores up things for themselves but is not rich toward God.””