Confession- I have a Bible app that gives you a verse every morning to look at on your locked screen before you open it, but I never read the verse. Usually I’m hearing my youngest child singing through his baby monitor at 5:45am, grabbing my phone to see what time it is, and opening my phone before I even notice what notifications have popped up over night- including that day’s Bible verse.
But one day when I actually did read the verse, I had to look it up in my hard copy Bible because I’d never heard it before!
At least, I’d never heard it translated this way before.
“Live generously.” Matthew 5:42b (MSG)
It’s basically Christian common sense, one would think. But, it shook me to read! Because honestly, I can’t say that’s what my lifestyle looked like prior to reading it that morning.
I wear a lot of hats: I have two toddlers, work a part-time from-home job, and have a small biz side hustle. And in the deep mommy-trenches season that I was in when I read that verse, I was drowning. How could I live generously? I mean, for almost 4 years straight my body was either growing or nursing a small human being and functioning on very little sleep. Some days, just staying and keeping my babies alive was an accomplishment. Live generously? How? And from where would I give?
So, I started paying attention to opportunities where I could be generous. In a season where the word “No” came out of my mouth 200 times a day, I looked for where I could say, “Yes.”
And that’s what I did. But, if I couldn’t say “Yes,” I didn’t. (And I tried not to beat myself up about it.)
I go to Bible study every Wednesday morning. I couldn’t help watch kids for the Bible study leaders when they’d meet on Mondays, but I could watch their kids for the 15 minutes before Bible study started on Wednesdays. So, I said, “Yes” to that.
We were in no place to take in a foster child. But, I had piles of beautiful baby clothes my children had outgrown. So anytime a family we know takes in a new foster baby, I bring them a bin of beautiful clothes in that baby’s size.
I make dinner most nights. It’s not hard to double a recipe. So when someone I know is sick, I double the recipe and bring them a meal.
When a friend is going through a hard time, I don’t just say, “I’m sorry; I’ll pray for you.” I ask them what I can DO for them. And if I can DO it, I do it. (And if I can’t, I can’t.)
Our family has been so blessed by the generosity of others. I couldn’t even begin to write out a list of examples, but some days I actually feel a little guilty- like we don’t deserve the generosity we receive. And in those moments God reminds me that those people who are blessing our family with their generosity are doing the same thing I’m doing when I say “Yes” where I can.
I love how the Message translation states this entire section (Matthew 5:42-48). It is totally worth a read if you aren’t familiar with it. At the end Jesus says, “You’re kingdom subjects. Now live like it. Live out your God-created identity. Live generously and graciously toward others, the way God lives toward you.”
So, friend, I pray you will walk in this truth today. If you haven’t been able to spend some daily time in the word with God yet, or even in a while, lean into this passage over your lunch break.
I know it encourages and challenges me every time I read it.
Until next time,