The Heart of the Giver

June 7, 2013

in the generous life

My husband and I were discussing generosity the other day (I know, surprising).

We talked about how generosity was such a healing thing for us. We had both grown up in households where folks had judged and measured what they gave. We always felt “hungry” and generally judged as lacking or substandard.

The terms “judged” and “measured” stood out to me as we talked. How opposite they are to generosity. Generosity gives freely out of love. Generosity is about the heart of the giver and not necessarily the condition of the receiver.

Take a moment and think about how and why you give to your husband. Do you “judge” whether he has “earned” good treatment? Do you “measure” how much he deserves? 

I know I have done those things. Moving to generosity has been a real challenge for me. I had to make generosity about my heart condition and a desire to be more like Jesus rather than a reflection of how my husband was acting or what he was asking for. (It was easy to say that something my husband wanted was “too much” when really it was more of a reflection of my own woundedness or selfishness.)

I realize that what I’m talking about is a difficult change to make. Giving past comfortable limits or giving when there is no guarantee that you will get back is just plain scary. But you will be more like Jesus and you will sow healing in your marriage relationship.

The following scripture is about the rich being generous, but I think it is sharing an amazing truth ~ that generosity is the substance of real life, the God kind of life.

(The rich) are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, thus storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is truly life.  1 Timothy 6:18-19  ESV  (bold mine)

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