Giving Generously

It was an ordinary day when I witnessed my three-year-old son snatch a snack-sized bag of pretzels and run in the opposite direction of his little brother. My one-year-old son, already on the verge of tears, chased after his big brother.  

“Share with your brother!” I snapped at the three-year-old. He selfishly pulled the bag of pretzels closer to his chest and shook his head. “Share with him!” I repeated. “When the bag is empty, I will give you more if you’re still hungry.” 

He wasn’t satisfied with my suggestion. In his mind, there were only so many pretzels in the bag and he wanted them all to himself. Meanwhile, his poor little brother was in tears as he held his hand out towards the bag. I walked into the pantry and grabbed a large bag of pretzels. 

“See!” I said as I held the bag high. “There are more pretzels. If you want more, I’ll give you more.”

He hesitated, then slowly pulled a pretzel stick out of the bag and handed it to his little brother. For the next five minutes, they happily bounced, rocked, and snacked together. 

As promised, when they ran out of their beloved snack, I replenished the bag with more than they could eat. 

I thought to myself, “If only he would trust that I would give him more without having to show him.  Why couldn’t he understand that I was willing to give him more?”

Just then, the conviction of the Holy Spirit nudged me.  That’s me.

Oh, how this exchange with my son was a perfect representation of interactions with my Heavenly Father. A perfect model. Precise imagery.

Countless times I have read scriptures that assure me that God will provide my needs (Philippians 4:19).

I have studied scriptures of wisdom encouraging me to give freely to those in need (Proverbs 19:17).

Yet, I still find myself clenching onto my time, money, and resources in fear that I may lack or be inconvenienced.

What would it look like if I trusted God’s Word without needing to see his master plan? 

Who could be blessed? What lives would be changed? How much glory could I give the Father?

Instead, I’m often holding onto what I have in my possession without considering God’s abundance. My heart smiles when I see my children share with each other. I can only imagine how happy it makes our Father when He sees us giving freely. This reminds me of the early church members who shared all of their possessions so that no one among them lacked (Acts 4:32-34). It’s the kind of believers we should still be today. 

Giving from a generous heart

This conviction caught me by surprise. I would consider myself generous.  I give and teach my children to give. My husband and I even have a bank account entitled “Give.” It’s where we transfer a percentage of our monthly income to ensure we always have something to give. 

However, I realized that I often reach a point of fatigue when giving to others.  I get weary if I don’t see the fruits of my giving. I lack empathy and motivation to continue giving if I feel taken advantage of.  None of these are reasons to withhold.  The Lord’s instructions are clear, “Give and it will be given to you.” (Luke 6:38)  Jesus explains to us in Matthew Chapter 6 that our Heavenly Father knows our needs and will provide for us. God provides so freely that we shouldn’t even worry. 

Now that our conviction has set in, it’s time to obey.  We must give, even if our bag starts to look empty.  We must give with a happy heart, in full expectation that the Lord will refill our bag as He sees fit.  We must trust that our God is more gracious and generous than we have ever been towards any of our children. We must have faith in our Father, the best parent who ever lived. 

Together, let’s give our Father an opportunity to fill us back up.