The Renter

  • March 23, 2012
  • #7800

Hi, I’m Joni Eareckson Tada and every day we are given choices to be generous.

Like what happened to Phyllis. She's a friend of mine who is a single woman, owns a beautiful home. Her husband passed away quite awhile ago and Phyllis chose not to downsize to a condo, but to keep her roomy house. The thing is, she needs to rent part of it so that it will cover her expenses. Well, through a network she found Nadine, a potential renter. The two of them had dinner last night. Phyllis was a little anxious to meet this woman, but the two of them really hit it off. Phyllis told me that she liked Nadine and that they seemed to share a lot of interests.

When it came time to discuss the rental fee over dinner, Phyllis decided she would go pretty low and so she offered Nadine $850 per month. Now you need to know that for Southern California, that is a very low rent, especially for a neighborhood like Phyllis'. Well, the renter looked at my friend rather strangely, shook her head and smiled. "Phyllis," she said, "let's be fair here. I know you've got needs, so why don't we settle on $1200 a month?" Phyllis told me that she was shocked, even stunned. She would never have dreamed of asking that much, but then Nadine went on to explain that at her previous place she had to pay $2000 a month, and that was just a small apartment. With Phyllis she had a chance to enjoy living in a home with a spacious backyard. And Nadine told her, she said, "Phyllis, this way, we both end up saving and getting something extra out of it so $1200 it is."

Earlier today when Phyllis told me all this, she was absolutely delighted. "And to think of it, Joni," she said, "Nadine isn't even a Christian. She's an unbeliever. Most Christians I know would never go up on a counter offer, they'd never be generous like that when they didn't have to be."

I think it's wonderful the way God rewarded Phyllis for trying to be generous with her low offer... and amazingly, he did it through an unbeliever. Although, I don't feel it will be very long before Nadine is a follower of Jesus, because she sure does have at least one of his wonderful attributes and that's His generosity.

Wonderful things happen when we reflect the heart of the Lord Jesus to others, and not only wonderful, but totally unexpected. That's what happened last night to Phyllis. And it can happen to you today, too. I want you to join me today in praying Psalm 119:36 to the Lord and say with me, "Lord Jesus, incline my heart to your testimonies, help me to do what you would do, think the way you would think, choose what you would choose, act the way you would act... and in doing so, may I glorify your name." Friend, I tell you if you pray that with me, you'll be surprised. You will be delighted in what God will do. After all, he delights in showering his favor on those who do, think, choose, and act as the Savior would.

By the way, if you want to incline your heart to follow Jesus more closely, if you want to be more generous, I've got a little booklet on obedience I would like to send you today. It’s three short stories that will inspire you to reflect the character of Christ the way my friend Phyllis did last evening. If you're planning to go online later, please visit me at and ask for your free copy of my booklet on obedience. And to be honest I would love to hear from you today and get your thoughts on what I've shared, just click on the "Contact Us" tab and let me know how you're doing as it concerns inclining your heart toward the Lord Jesus. Again, that's Until next time, just keep doing, keep thinking, keep choosing, and acting as Jesus would. Because when you do, you can't help but enjoy his favor, His generous favor.

Previously aired as Program #7097 on 7/14/09. 

© Joni and Friends

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