What can I do to be more generous?
Do I give my best generously?
We are going through the Rob Bell Nooma Series in church. If you have not ever seen these, I highly recommend giving them a whirl, especially if you are a visual, creative person. They are great at weaving God's truth in with a visual story and thus prompting much thought. The title of the video today was "Rich," and in a nutshell, it hits on a concept that didn't become real to me until we moved to the Dominican Republic. The concept is this: we are rich. That's right - crazy loaded.
Wait one stinking minute here. We are missionaries for pete's sakes! Jon and I are completely reliant on the generosity of others to provide a way for us here. Hold the phone. Thing check: car? check! passports? check! bank account? check? house? check! running water in house? check! bathroom? check! breathing? check! health? check! I don't for a minute think that the point of the video was that if you have stuff, you are rich. The point was that in the American culture that we focus on what else we need - the newest and greatest toy, tool, i -whatever, etc. We cast a blind eye to what we do have and become fixated on what we need next, thinking that the standard of living that we are conditioned to is the same for the rest of the world.
When we first moved to the D.R., we would have people stop at our gate to ask for food and money. Jon and I were baffled at first, thinking, "Don't they know that we are missionaries and that we don't have much?" Oh contrar mofrair. Even at the low end of the American economic food chain, we were and are LOADED. So are you. Anyways, the point was not possessions/amenities = wealth, but that we all have something glorious to offer other human beings. Furthermore, regardless of how much or how little we have, we should ALWAYS have enough to give. If I think that I don't have anything to give, than I am probably holding on too tightly to what I've been blessed with. In many ways, I need to let go - not just loosen my grip - but completely surrender. My brain says "YIKES!" but my soul screams "FREEDOM!"
I was completely convicted too about the part about giving our best. Sure, we give - but in terms of quality, we aren't necessarily always giving our best. Do you want our broken fan? Maybe it can be fixed? Here's a pair of mismatched shoes, but their the same size, right? Ouch. The God of the universe offered His very best, Jesus. Wow. I'm trying to let this one marinate way down deep and let it season how I think and live.