People need our embrace more than they need our advice.
2 Cor 9:11 You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God. NIV
When we are enriched by God and Generous like Jesus the world becomes a better place.
If you don’t give your children your values someone else will. Our children will not learn to be generous from their buddies.
The atmosphere of our lives has a tremendous influence on the way we think and what we believe. When our girls were very young I remember once as my wife, Tracy, was trying to help my oldest daughter, Faith, get ready for school. Faith was standing in the kitchen in her way as Tracy was trying to offer her help. I noticed that Faith was slowing down the assistance she was receiving from her mom and about that time Tracy stopped and said in a kind tone, “Faith would you please move over there so I don’t have to keep walking around you?”
Immediately I spoke up. This was a moment I wanted to point out to both of our girls. Too many times parents feel justified in being unkind to their children when they are legitimately frustrated. There are reasons to be frustrated but there is never a reason to be unkind. It was my honor to point out how Tracy was kind even though it was frustrating to her. This is why many teens are so rude and inconsiderate to their parents. When the children were younger the parents demonstrated unkind attitudes and demands. Certain cultures grow certain responses:
If children live with criticism, they learn to condemn. If children live with hostility, they learn to fight. If children live with pity, they learn to feel sorry for themselves. If children live with ridicule, they learn to feel shy. If children live with shame, they learn to feel guilty. If children live with acceptance, they learn to love. If children live with sharing, they learn generosity. If children live with approval, they learn to like themselves. If children live with encouragement, they learn confidence.
Guard the atmosphere of your home!!! Sarcasm and disrespect are unhealthy expressions of frustration. It’s not beneficial to say things like, “The lawn isn’t going to mow itself!” and “Do I look like your maid?” Make the time to apologize for all the unkind things you’ve said over the years, ask for forgiveness and believe God to establish a culture that honors him, dignifies others and is more of an expression of heaven than it ever has been.
The culture we grow up in truly affects our lives and impacts our legacy. As a church family Destiny is committed to working to establish men and women in an attitude that reflects the heart of God specifically aiming at our five core values. We are outrageously loving people who passionately pursue the Lord with irrationally giving lifestyles as we consistently submit to God’s desires and effectively disciple others to do the same. As we pursue this goal we must be keenly aware that we live in a culture that fights intensely against this goal. We must be careful not to let our own attitudes rob us from God’s perspective!
Oprah is worth more than $3 billion. It was shocking to me to hear her talk about how important her gratitude journal was. She explained how any time she began feeling depressed she would go to her gratitude journal and reflect on the things she was thankful for in life. It’s a great idea but the shock came from the reality that she could have so much yet still be sad. It goes to show that no success, no following and no amount of money can ever truly satisfy your life.
You were born for more than the best moment this world has to offer. This is why we must refuse to reduce our theology to making the most of human and temporal moments. The real question we must practice asking on a regular basis is, “What is important to God?” What if we have been chasing the wrong thing all along?
I remember watching a tee ball game where the kids were so young they were just learning the details of the game. One of the boys stepped up and hit the ball as hard as anybody had hit it that day. In total excitement he began running to 3rd base. By the volume of the crowd he felt like a total champ as everybody erupted into screaming at the top of their lungs. He thought they were cheering him on which caused him to run even harder feeling totally successful. What if, in this life, we have been running in the wrong direction chasing the wrong things all along.
I submit to you that this life is not even about this life and as long as you exhaust your ability to live this life as your focus of this life you’ll constantly feel unfulfilled and unsatisfied!
1 Tim 6:17-19 Command those who are rich in this present world … to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. 19 In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life. NIV
There is more to this life than this life. Jesus taught that this life is merely a test. Decisions we make in this life determine not only where we go when we die but what it will be like when we get there! There is status and standing in the age to come. Rich people have a unique opportunity because they’ve been entrusted so much.
WE DO NOT GET CREDIT FOR WHAT WE LEAVE WE ONLY GET CREDIT FOR WHAT WE GIVE. The reason is because everybody leaves the same amount. We all leave everything! Don’t miss this opportunity to position yourself in a different place eternally!!!
What is important to God? Learning to be generous like Jesus leaving the world a better place.