This may sound crazy, but I really loved my month of self-control in December. More than any other month, it actually helped me let go of a lot of the pressure I put on myself! I would have thought the opposite might have happened, but overall, it offered me more freedom than I had before.
Now we’re on to my three months of fruits that are not part of the official Fruits of the Spirit list in Galatians 5. But they are three things I’d like to cultivate more of in my life. They are generosity, humility, and gratitude. Beginning the year with generosity seems like a wonderful way to kick off 2013!
This month, I’d like to explore both monetary generosity as well as generosity in other areas of my life. So what does biblical generosity even look like?
Like so many of the other fruits, generosity is to underlay all that a Christian does. We are not just called to be generous in our finances (though, that is definitely a component). We are called to be generous with all that we have, including our time, our talent, our energy — everything. Generous with our love, our joy, our kindness. Jesus said that it is more blessed to give than to receive (Acts 20:35), and he wasn’t just referring to money. We are abundantly blessed when we abundantly bless others (and I’m talking more than money here — I’m definitely not from the name-it-and-claim-it branch of Christianity).
Being generous, however, comes with a stipulation. We are called to be cheerful givers. We aren’t just called give out of some sense of duty or obligation. God cultivates joy in our hearts (see May of last year!) to be generous, and it’s out of that joy that we give.
I’m ready for my month of joyful giving!