One of the things that I have come to realize is that when it comes to being a generous person its not about what we do it is about who we are. For me I was raised in home where being generous to people around you was just who you were. It wasn’t something you had to think about, or guess about, you just did it. So when I got married I just started doing what I thought was the natural thing to do. Well my wife had grown up differently then me and it was a point of great conversation for us. (That’s called an argument.) So we both had to come to a mutual understanding of what we were going to do when it came to being generous. Which honestly was a really good thing for both of us to come to as a couple. I would really say it was a great chance for me to grow as a husband, father, and as person that works in the faith community. (church)
You see because of that difference between my wife and I it enabled me to see how and why people struggle when it comes to being generous in and with their faith community. For us at Elevation we talk a lot about being generous in fact we want to be known for our “Insane Generosity” to the community around us. But for a community of faith (church) to be generous that means the people of the church need to be generous with what they give to that church. If you are a part of a faith community then you will have heard this is about offerings and about tithing. (We are not going to argue Old Testament vs New Testament giving.) So we want people to see that for us to be generous as a church community then the people need to be a part of that through their generosity through their tithes and offerings.
But most people honestly struggle here because of the different ways that they were raised. Some were raised that all you had was yours and that you take care of your own. Some were raised without anything so you had to keep whatever you had to be able to make it. Others were raised where you were just generous enough to make sure you looked good. While as others were raised with the idea that helping someone in need is just what you did that you were generous.
So it is my hope that I can encourage people to live out a generous life. Whether it is by caring for your neighbor. (Hopefully you know who they are.) By providing some food for another student at your school. (Had one of my kids do this.) Or through the tithes and offerings you share with your community of faith. (My wife does this for us now.) Because as you begin to do this you will be amazed that the words of the New Testament begin to be lived out your life in an amazing way.
Acts 20:35b “You should remember the words of the Lord Jesus: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ ”
How are you living out a life of insane generosity in your life? How are you being generous with your faith community so that they can be generous with the community around it?
Over the last couple of months I have really taken the time to think about the things in a church that I hope to see in Elevation Christian Church. One of those things is that we will have Godly older men leading in the church. I pray every day that the Lord will bring into this church a group of men that will be willing to get messy and be a part of the younger men’s lives in our church.
Titus 2:1-2 (NLT) But as for you, promote the kind of living that reflects right teaching.  Teach the older men to exercise self-control, to be worthy of respect, and to live wisely. They must have strong faith and be filled with love and patience.
As I have spent the last 16 years working with Middle school, High school, and College students I know that this is what most of the young of today hunger for in their lives. That because there is a void of men leading their homes in a way that is loving, caring, and Christ like we have a generation of boys and men that are walking through life with out any idea of what to do. May we the men of Jesus Christ first ask God to forgive us for not leading like we are suppose too. Second I pray that we ask the women our lives to forgive us for not loving and caring for them the way Jesus would want us too. Finally that we will stop walking in previous generations footsteps and make a change by trusting in Christ to make us the husbands, fathers, and sons that he wants for this world.
This last weekend while I was speaking at Northgate Christian Church I made the statement: “If you are husband and you are not loving your wife the way Christ loved the church then you are stupid.” Well I still believe it, the only problem is that I think that most men just don’t know what to do when it comes to being that kind of man. If you are a husband, father, or sons then what are you doing to lead your home like Christ would have you too? If you are an older believer then who are you investing your life into today?