Monday, September 5, 2011

Power Thought #5

I love people and I enjoy helping them.
[Unlabeled quotes are taken from the book Power Thoughts, by Joyce Meyer.]

In this chapter we are reminded of the generosity of God toward us.  The Bible tells us that we love Him because He first loved us (1 John 4:19). God has put His love into the hearts of His children, and the point of this chapter is that we are designed by Him as He makes us new in Christ to be dispensers of His love.

The author contrasts stingy folks with generous ones.  A stingy person characteristically looks out only for himself and his own interests, does not like to share, only gives when he feels he must (reluctantly or grudgingly), and his focus is often “what about me?”  Contrast this with someone characterized by generosity – he looks and listens for opportunities to help or encourage others and cheerfully takes initiative to meet the needs when able, his focus/desire is to be a blessing to others.

“I encourage you to begin to think on purpose about how you can be a blessing to the people around does not have to cost money although at times it may; it does not always have to take much time; and it does not have to take an enormous amount of energy.  Blessing people can be quick and easy, but it won’t just happen.  You have to do it deliberately.  At times what God asks us to do may be more costly to us in time, effort, or finances than at other times, but either way we need to be ready to be God’s ambassador on Earth.  Use what you have in the service of God and man...I am not talking about only putting money into an offering at church on Sundays.  I am talking about doing things for people in your daily life – people you work with, people in your family, people you like and people you may not particularly like, people you know and people you don’t know, and those you think deserve it as well as those you don’t think deserve it."

I'm a very visual and symbolic sort of soul so I really liked this word picture:  “I am reminded of a bottle of hand lotion I have, one that has a pump on it.  When I press the pump, it dispenses hand lotion.  That’s the way I want to be with blessings.  When people come near me, I want to dispense something good, something that will benefit them.”

She offered some inventory questions to help us see where we might need to grow a more generous spirit:
*   How well do I tip?  If I were a waiter or waitress, would I want to wait on myself, based on the way I tip?
*   What kinds of gifts do I give?  Do I give the cheapest things I can find?  Do I get anything just to meet an obligation or do I sincerely look for what I believe the person receiving the gift would enjoy?
*   Do I freely and frequently encourage and compliment other people?
*   Am I willing to share what I have?
*   Do I hoard possessions or do I give away what I’m not using?
*   When I have opportunities to give to those less fortunate than I am, do I give generously?  Do I do as much as I can or as little as I can?
*   If I’m with someone who has a cold and runny nose, and I have been carrying around a package of tissues for weeks, do I give that person only one tissue, or do I offer the entire package so they will have plenty?
*   Do I give someone else the best-looking steak at dinner or do I keep that one for myself?

We could ask all kinds of questions to “help us locate our level of generosity.”  But really, if we’re honest, we know we all have room to grow in this arena and that the opportunities to practice abound.  “Wherever there is a human being, there is an opportunity to express love.”  So let’s practice!  Let's think intentionally of others.  Let's look and listen for ways to be a blessing dispenser and be one.  If we become aware of areas where we are stingy, let's repent and move forward in grace.  As Hebrews 10:24 puts it, “let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works.”

“Think and say, ‘I love people and I enjoy helping them.’”  Here are some passages that relate:
Gal. 6:10
Mark 8:34
1 John 3:16-18
Matt. 5:44-48
Heb. 13:16
2 Cor. 9:5
Prov. 11:24
Acts 28:10

1 comment:

  1. This is definitely an area I need to work on, Connie. Jesus said that the world we will know we are His disciples by our love. Am I sharing that love with those around me? There is room for improvement, for sure. Thanks!