A Generous Spirit

  • Jan. 25, 2012
  • #7758

Joni shares tips on how to display the generosity of God to people that you meet.

One of the many things I love about God? He is so generous!

Hi, I’m Joni Eareckson Tada and welcome to Joni and Friends where I love talking about the marvelous attributes of our Savior. And one of them is generosity. I mean, come on, the Lord has been so generous to us; does He not ask us to be the same with others? 

Like the other day, a class of 5th graders from Valley Christian School came to our International Disability Center for a tour. I had a great time sharing my story with them in the assembly room and then they all marched up the ramp to come visit my art studio. Well, as I may have told you before, I always love to give the children who visit my art studio boxes of crayons. I mean, not just any crayons, but the 24-pack crayons. I mean, the really cool ones! After I showed the students my easel and some of the paintings, I remembered my promise; you know, the one to give each child a box of crayons. Well, I looked at all these children – there must have been 23 boys and girls in this class! And so I hesitated a moment. I knew I had enough… but did I really want to relinquish so many in one visit? And that is when I sensed a nudge from the Holy Spirit whispering, “Have I ever hesitated to give anything to you?” Friend, that’s all it took. All 23 children received boxes of crayons – and, oh, you should have seen the looks of delight and surprise on their faces! 

First Timothy 6:18-19 says, "Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life." Friend, I want to cultivate a generous spirit, a spirit that’s willing to share. And I have an idea you do, too. So, may I give you a couple suggestions that will strengthen a spirit of generosity? 

First, the next time you’re at the luggage carousel at an airport, help someone with their baggage. Another idea? Pay for the cup of coffee for the person behind you, especially if you’ve engaged in small talk while waiting in line. And here’s one my husband likes to do: if you’ve enjoyed good service at a restaurant, be really generous with your tip and add a phrase like, “You know, this is really from Jesus… He’s the best Giver of all.” The next idea may be out of your comfort zone, but it really will strengthen a generous spirit. That is, if your church or local rescue mission runs a soup kitchen, sign up to serve for a night. God has freely given to you, so freely give to others. 

And here’s another Ken Tada idea: Give a tip to someone who does not usually receive one, like a car wash attendant, your hotel maid, or your garbage man. How about trading your first class seat with a military person who’s on the plane with you? Find something of value in your house and then give it away. When it comes to being generous, it’s all about motives. And being generous with an eye to God's glory is definitely a pure motive, for sure. Speaking of which, don’t forget to drop by my radio page today at joniandfriends.org to pick up your copy of this excellent little booklet on motives and why we do the things we do.

Remember, when you are generous with others – especially if they know that you are a follower of Jesus – it is a way of glorifying Him and His generous nature. When we choose to give, even in the smallest way, it makes a big difference for the people in our path and for us and for God’s glory. 

© Joni and Friends

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