Living A Generous Life

What kind of life do I want my children to live? They are living in a sinful world, learning things I don’t want them to about humanity. As much as I wish I could shield them from this sinful world, I can’t. As they grow, I can try to determine the types of books they read, movies they watch, kids they hang out with, but regardless they will be exposed to sin. Sin is all around them. What can we do? We can teach them how to live a life worth living; a life christ has called us to.

God is an amazing father and He sent His son to live out that life. We have an example right in front of us. What does it show us? Jesus shows us that He is generous, servant-hearted, trusting, and loving. How can we teach these characteristics to our children? Our last blog series taught the importance of modeling to our children. In order to teach our children these characteristics and have them implement them in their lives, we must first model them in our own lives.

Luke 9:10-17

The people heard that Jesus and His disciples were in Bethsaida and quickly joined them. After a full day of Jesus healing the sick, the disciple told Jesus to send them away because they didn’t have enough food to feed 5000 men. Instead Jesus told the disciples to have the men break up into groups and feed them. God multiplied the food and there was enough to feed ALL of the men and have left overs.

Jesus had a choice. No one would have blamed Him if He simply said, “Hey everyone we had a great time, but go home and eat.” Ok maybe a little more eloquent than that, but still. The men would have understood. Jesus chose to give what little they had and trust God.

We have all been in similar circumstances. We get our paychecks, see how much we have, and budget accordingly; this much for groceries, this much for fun, etc. Then we see a need in our community, a family that is struggling to buy groceries, someone’s card gets declined in front of us at Starbucks, or we have an opportunity to invite a large family over for dinner. We have a tendency to forget that christ was the one that blessed us with our paycheck. It is because of Him that we have money in our pockets.

Our children watch us turn the cheek and choose to not help people. Am I saying to go out there and spend spend spend on anyone and everyone and expect God to multiply your money each time? No. What I am saying is that we can use what little or much money we have to help others. We can show our children what it means to live a generous life like Jesus.

Here are a few practical ideas…

1. Make bags for the homeless that include items such as a small water, bar of soap, bible, banana, oatmeal, and socks. Keep them in your car and every time you see someone holding up a sign on the street corner, have one of your children hand it to them.

2. Buy coffee for the person behind you at your local coffee shop.

3. Sign your family up to bring a meal to someone in the church and have your children help prepare and deliver the meal.

Our kids learn so much from what we do as a family and what their parents do in front of them. Use that and share the Gospel!

Brittany Muddamalle

Children’s Ministry Coordinator

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One thought on “Living A Generous Life

  1. Great post, Brit! It made me examine my own heart a bit, and reminded me of something I was learning about in class the other day. I’m a child development major, and we were learning about altruism and it’s many definitions, depending on what type of theorist you are (behavioralist, psychosocial, etc.) one theorist said altruism is defined as any kind act you do for another, whether you receive some physical or mental reward for it. Another defined altruism as doing something for another that is only purely altruistic if you receive nothing in return, including no good feeling, etc. They were trying to identify what motivates children to do altruistic things for others. Anyway, it made me think about my own life. I used to love to bless others. I used to find immense pleasure in surprising people with gifts, giving to those in need, etc. Somewhere along the way, I started to hate it, didn’t see the point. I still do it, don’t get me wrong, but often my joy is not in it. I tried to figure out why, and I think I narrowed it down.

    I was disappointed.

    I felt somewhere deep that if I were doing great things for others, I should receive blessings for it. For example, once I spent a few hours helping people who lost their homes to fires. On my way home, I get a $400ish ticket while driving. I know it sounds silly, but it made me bitter. It was 11 pm, I was tired, I had poured myself out for others, and not only did I not feel any physical reward, but I felt like I was punished. So frustrating. It’s silly when I think about it; of course we aren’t supposed to do things for rewards… But one of the key things my teacher pointed out is that kids are wired to feel entitled to SOMETHING in return for a good act. Maybe wired isn’t the right work – entitled. It’s interesting and awesome to hear you teaching your kids to give. Everyone should do this.

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