What might it look like to grow generosity in my life or to encourage that growth in those I influence or lead?
It looks like a prayer Saint Ignatius of Loyola prayed:
“Dearest Lord, teach me to be generous.
Teach me to serve You as You deserve,
to give and not count the cost.”
And it looks like ordinary people seeing an opportunity or need and going for it:
A nurse, while eating out at a diner, anonymously pays for the meal of a father and son. Forty-six other tables of people follow her lead and pay for the meals of others.
A veteran establishes a farm to teach veterans, who are suffering from PTSD, how to grow blueberries and vegetables and then how to start their own farms in their communities.
These and similar stories from those I personally know inspire me and also remind me that God daily prompts me to be generous of spirit. I see it around me, hear it in my prayers to Him, and read it His words.
1 Timothy 6:17-19 shows me that while my bank account may not be full, He has given me much. And regardless of what I have materially or financially at any given moment, I can be rich in good works and generous to those in need.
Philippians 2:3 nudges me toward humility so that I consider the vital importance of others and look out for their interests, not just my own.
As I pursue Him and His transformative work within, moving me from pride to humility, from self-focus to outward-looking anticipation, from withholding to freely giving, my prayer questions stir.
Where are You calling me to share generosity?
How might I be more courageous and open?
Will I recognize Your opportunities?
Will I have the resources?
I trust God’s unlimited creativity and leading, His simple invitations to remain open to Him and watch for opportunities to extend His love. He, after all, provided the most beautiful and perfect demonstration of generosity when He so lovingly gave His life for us.
This is Jesus, the one to whom I pray, as Ignatius did, to teach me generosity.
Lord, teach me generosity as an overflow of Your presence in my life. Help me extend it as an expression of Your love and compassion for others. Continue to create in me a heart attitude that reflects Your humility and openness. Grow generosity in my life so that it is more than for the few weeks of this season but through all seasons--a lifestyle.
When we walk this path with Him, He roots generosity in place in our lives so that it becomes so much a part of who we are that we can’t help but overflow with His love toward others. In turn we can lead others to also grow generosity in their lives. He shows us how to begin right where we are.
Yes, dearest Lord, teach us to be generous.