Thursday, September 24, 2015

Gratitude Leads to Generosity

Comparison can be an ugly thing. When I'm looking at what I have compared to someone who is "better off" than I (in the worldly sense), I become consumed with envy and jealousy. I think "woe is me, why can't I have that or look like that or live there?!" However, when I look at what I have compared to someone who is "worse off" than I, I notice that my attitude changes. Rather than becoming envious, I become grateful. I thank God for what He has given me and am grateful for what I have. I am given a different perspective. Gratitude wipes out comparison and instead leads to generosity.

I become freed up to take those who are experiencing far worse days, smaller bank accounts (or no bank account at all), sickness and death, little to no earthly possessions, injustice and violence, and lift them up to our heavenly Father who hears my prayers and who can actually do something about it. And then I can do something about it. I can give generously to those who are in need, because I have seen how generous God has been to me. I can give generously because I have experienced deep gratitude at what God has given me. 

And I'm not just talking about gratitude over the job and house and husband and friends and things that God has given me, although all those things are from His hands. I'm talking about deep gratitude for something that is of far more worth and value—namely a relationship with and faith in Jesus that results in a full life now and eternal life after life on this earth. I can experience deep gratitude to God for saving me from my sinful self and giving me a new heart... one that desires to follow Him. I am grateful that He has given me a hope for the future, as well as strength to face today. And this gratitude, it flows out into generosity towards others. If I have been given much, why would I not also give much to others?

But who am I, and who are my people, that we should be able to give as generously as this? Everything comes from you, and we have given you only what comes from your hand. —1 Chronicles 29:1

Gratitude is the key that unlocks generosity in our hearts. It is the spark that lights the fire of giving in our lives. It is the cause of joy. It is the outpouring of God's blessings. It is the multiplication of His gifts. Gratitude makes generosity possible.

So next time I feel comparison creeping in, I'm going to choose to focus on all the ways that God has blessed me—both with His grace by saving me, and with earthly blessings—and choose gratitude. I will ask "who am I, that I should be able to give as generously as this?" and then I will give. I will have open hands, and an open heart. Lord, will you make this true in my life? Will you help me to be grateful and generous?

To see more thoughts on generosity, here's a previous post on giving "responsibly."

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for this! I needed to hear this today :) PS-Can't wait to see you tomorrow!


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