Most of my posts tie into what God is teaching me in my daily reading, which is also part of my S.O.A.P journal. Here are some past posts on S.O.A.P. journaling – Scripture, Observation, Application and Prayer: Reading Through the Bible and The Divine Mentor. I highly recommend making daily Bible reading and prayer a top priority. Even if you only have 10-15 minutes a day; I promise it will be a life-changer!
Today’s reading included Proverbs 11. The Bible talks a lot about Generosity, especially in Proverbs. God wants us to give not because giving benefits him; but giving benefits us. It changes our hearts. Where we spend our time and money is where our heart will be focused.
Personally, I am trying to make a conscious effort to have my life focused on what matters most – my walk with Jesus, my marriage, my kids, serving others and collecting memories over collecting things. Where I spend my money and time reflects these things. Where we chose to spend our time and money also changes our heart to make those things a higher priority.
For example, if I am giving my money to a certain non-profit or church my heart will be more inclined to care about that church or cause.
Generosity goes beyond just money. For me, it is very easy (and tempting) to get busy with my career and to-do list. I find it helpful to regularly take a few minutes to contemplate where my heart is in the areas below. If I am getting off track I need to make a purposeful decision to change my focus by giving more generously.
- Time Generosity: How am I spending my time? How many hours a day am I looking at social media or watching TV compared to how many hours a day am I spending doing something meaningful that has eternal value, like volunteering at a homeless shelter or praying and reading the Bible?
- Attention Generosity: Where is my attention? I often catch myself multi-talking when my children or husband are talking to me. For example, when my daughter wants to tell me all the stories about recess I’ll often listen while also swiping through Instagram photos. I need to stop. Put the phone down. Make eye-contact. Really listen. Nod my head. Ask her questions. Have a conversation with her and give her my full attention, rather than having half my mind elsewhere.
- Energy Generosity: I only have so much energy to expend every day. Am I using it on activities that really matter? For example, how often am I “too tired” to have sex with my husband? Is my schedule so overbooked that I don’t ever have time to go on a date with my husband? Am I running myself ragged with so many commitments that my daily time with Jesus and my family get put on a back burner? These can even include good and healthy activities – volunteering, reading, exercising, cleaning, kids’ sports and activities, etc. But if my schedule is so booked that I get to the end of the day and just want to collapse into bed, I need to take a good hard look at my priorities.
- Financial Generosity: In my life I know that the more I give the more I am blessed. Whether I am giving to my church, a non-profit that helps orphans or a cause that helps feed the poor; giving fills my heart. But there are times when I am looking at my budget and cringe. I don’t think I have the financial cushion to give. Giving money can hurt . . . for a season. But I’ve never given money and then regretted it. Do your research on who you are giving to (for nonprofits you can review their financials at Guidestar) and then make a decision to give. You will be blessed.