Living Generously, Generous Living

Kristyn Berry, Volunteer Writer, Crystal Lake | March 1, 2024

This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of the Lord’s people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God. Because of the service by which you have proved yourselves, others will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else. And in their prayers for you, their hearts will go out to you, because of the surpassing grace God has given you.
2 Corinthians 9:12-14 

Have you ever been stuck in a rut? Down in the dumps? Not feeling 100% yourself? Life tends to ebb and flow, and there have been times I have found myself stuck in the ebb stage. Usually, I can find my way back into the flow by simply carving out some extra time to be with God, practice self-care, share time with friends, and journal through it. This time, it seemed the ebb was there to stay, no matter what I tried. It was like sticky gum on the bottom of my shoe, and every weighty step was a sticky reminder the gum was there to stay, no matter what I did. The gum continued to collect unwanted dirt and debris, and I was desperate to have a clean sole again. The holidays were coming and feeling merry and bright was so far from reality for me. I knew what I was feeling was temporary, and I would soon be flowing again, but when? 

In God’s divine timing, I was placed in a situation where I could help someone who was experiencing a hard time, like me. I was commiserating with a friend who had confided in me they had some unexpected expenses and weren’t sure how they were going to make ends meet, let alone find a way to afford Christmas for their children and family. God placed it on my heart to do something about it. I didn’t have the means to provide everything they needed, but I knew enough people who would help a person in need. So, we crowdfunded and collected enough money to anonymously help them pay off the unexpected expenses and had leftover funds to provide Christmas for their family. 

My friend’s burden had lifted, and the act of serving others made the sticky gum on the bottom of my shoe disappear, and the lightness returned to my step. God created us to change biologically when we are in service to others. That’s right! When we are in service to others, the feel-good hormone, dopamine, is released providing us with a sense of peace, relaxation, and happiness. 

In 2 Corinthians chapter 9, Paul reveals a beautiful cycle of blessing that arises from selfless giving. When we give with a pure heart, recognizing that all we have is a gift from God, our generosity becomes an expression of gratitude. When we give generously, we align ourselves with the teachings of Christ and demonstrate our faith through action.

Our generosity has the potential to draw others closer to God through its impact on the community. The recipients of their kindness are moved to pray for them, and their hearts are filled with affection. This illustrates the deep, interconnected nature of a community grounded in love and generosity.

Next Steps

Pray: Heavenly Father, teach us to be generous as You are generous. May our acts of kindness and giving not only meet the physical needs of others but also overflow in expressions of thanks to You. Help us to live out the gospel obediently, being a source of praise and blessing to those around us. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.