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Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Generosity and life

I really like to hang around generous people.
People who give of their time.
People who give of themselves.
People who share of themselves as they really are.
People with whom you "don't have to watch what you say," all the time.
People who take me "as is, as I am," with all my strengths and weaknesses.
People who are generous with forgiveness.
People who are generous with mercy.
People who are generous with their time.
People who will stop and have a cup of coffee with you no matter what "pressing matter" they have - just to talk about the things of life.
Generosity doesn't always have to do with money.
Generosity can affect our every day lives - especially in our relationships with one another.
Abraham sent his servant to find a wife for his son Isaac.  The servant came upon Rebekah who was drawing water from a well.
The servant approaches the well and says, "please put down your pitcher that I may drink."  And Rebekah says, "Drink, and I will also give your camels a drink."
In other words, I am going to give you water, but I am also going to go the extra mile and water your camels.
This was no small offer.  It wouldn't be like giving a dog a drink.  The servant had ten camels, each of which could drink twenty gallons of water. 
So, if the calculations are correct: 
10 camels at 20 gallons each = 200 gallons.
200 gallons drawn with a 5 gallon jar = 40 trips
40 trips at (a conservative) 3 minutes each = 2 hours.
That's generosity!
That is going the extra mile!  That's saying, "I'm going to do what you ask of me - and then I am going to do something more."  (As one version put it - "And then some.")
Here's what I know about generosity:
When you and I give generously, we receive more than we would ever think possible in return.
As I forgive, I receive forgiveness.
As I show mercy, I receive mercy.
As I give of my time, others give of their time to me.
But also:  As I am generous, it outlives me.
I think back over time to those who took the time to speak truth in my life.  Their time.  Their time became my time.  Those who coached me.  Those who overlooked my faults and loved me.
And now they are with Jesus.   One of those "type folks" passed away two weeks ago.  I miss him.
You see, in your moment of generosity, please know that your actions will affect the lives of others in the future in ways that you could not even imagine.
Just a thought for a Tuesday.

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