Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. James 1:2-4
Today, we stand at the finish line of our three-week-long journey on developing a generous heart. During this time, we’ve taken a deep dive into challenging, and often taboo, topics like finances, budgeting, and spending. We’ve explored the differences between a want and a need and reflected on the meaning and purpose of God’s provision. We’ve looked in the mirror and considered the connection between our finances and our faith.
Here’s my $0.02 (see what I did there) about what we’ve experienced: I’m glad I won’t have to write a devotional about money for a very long time. Full transparency: finances always have been a source of guilt and shame for me. So, to shine a spotlight on an issue I prefer to remain in the darkness was far from a pleasant experience.
It was painful. It was eye-opening. It was insightful. At times, it was embarrassing. Most importantly, it was convicting.
And now…it’s over.
The Still God’s series comes to an end, and we move on. We turn our attention to another issue. And with that, I can very quickly go back to sticking my head in the sand, closing my eyes, and ignoring my financial situation. Or, I can put into practice the insights I’ve gained and move in a direction towards being a faithful steward and leading a generous life.
To think in a matter of twenty-one days that all my financial woes would magically disappear is naive. There are no quick fixes or magic wands. We can’t “Pass Go” and instantly arrive at our destination. Engaging in disciplines aren’t always easy, especially the first time. It takes endurance, intention, and focus if they are ever going to become a natural act. But, the investment is worth it.
So, maybe I need to revise the opening sentence of this devotional. I’m not at the finish line in developing a generous heart, but rather a crossroads. Chances are good, so are you.
As we look at what lies before us, we can’t trek down the path of least resistance. That’s the wrong road. It only leads to greed, discontentment and futility. For our community to become known as a hub and hallmark of generosity, it will require all of us staying engaged.
- Where do you find yourself at a crossroads in your quest to develop a generous heart? What is your next step in the journey?
God, let me not lose heart regarding the journey ahead of me. Help me to display courage and faith while I learn to trust You with my finances. Lead me towards a life of generosity. In Your name, Jesus. Amen.