Happy Birthday, Pastor Steven. Thank you for teaching and leading with excellence and integrity. What God has done through you has changed everything for our family.
I am blessed to work for people I know must be among the most-generous in the world. They’re certainly the most generous I’ve ever been close to. Pastor Steven and Holly Furtick seem to always be waiting for God to show them a new way to bless someone they love.
Sometimes it’s with a perfectly-timed, thoughtful and uplifting word. Sometimes it’s a physical gift. Pastor publicly praises his wife as being the best gift-giver at any baby or bridal shower. And he’s right. She’s so thoughtful and intentional. And so is Pastor Steven. He honors special guests to our church in remarkable ways. And he blesses our staff children and families with incredible intentionality.
I want to be more like this. I’m not. I could have been. I still can be.
I’ve started asking generous people how and why they do what they do. I love to hear their stories. One woman in our church told me the story of how her husband gave their vacation cash to a pastor who was headed to Jerusalem. The pastor used the cash to bless someone there who had lost everything and needed a way to get home.
Proverbs 11:24-25 says “One person gives freely, yet gains even more; another withholds unduly, but comes to poverty. A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed.” (NIV)
I’m challenged and inspired by the Message version of this passage, too. “The world of the generous gets larger and larger; the world of the stingy gets smaller and smaller. The one who blesses others is abundantly blessed; those who help others are helped.”
A colleague back from a recent short-term mission trip suggested we’re the most stingy with our time. That we’re so concerned with being busy and filling our days with activity, that we have no time for giving our time to serving others in meaningful relationships.
I think she’s right. So in 2014, I’m seeking and studying what it means to have “A Generous Heart.”
Last year, I prayed and studied and learned about Unity in our family. I’m so grateful for the lessons I learned and how God changed my heart. I’m looking forward to what He’ll teach me in 2014.
Here’s a link to some of our church’s best messages on generosity.
How do you give back? How have you been inspired or challenged in this area?
I look forward to hearing from you.