How Can We Be Generous with more than money

How Can We Be Generous…With More Than Just Money?

Hi, friends. This post is prompted by my conversation with a friend about her pastor pushing her to share her gifts. The exchange got me contemplating how we can be generous in the body of Christ.

The Conversation

My friend, a wonderful singer, complained that her pastor constantly pushes her to perform at church. She went on to proudly declare that she would never sing there again if the pastor asked her one more time.

I hope my internal reaction doesn’t seem holier-than-thou, but I couldn’t help thinking that her defiant attitude towards glorifying God with her gifts was…err…a little “off.” I tried to give a balanced response and said something along these lines:

“While it is wrong to be pushy to the point of aggressive, I can’t condemn a pastor for encouraging their congregants to use their spiritual gifts. In fact, I believe that is an integral part of their job.”

Musings on Generosity

We struggle with greed. Scripture says that God loves a cheerful giver (2 Corinthians 9:6-7). People often think “greed” and “generosity” refer to money, but we actually have things more valuable than dollar bills to give to the kingdom of God. One of the most priceless gifts in the world is time, which we tend to hoard. Here is a list of things we can be generous with:

  • Money
  • Time
  • Patience
  • Listening
  • Gifts, talents, skills, knowledge
  • Forgiveness
  • Kindness
  • Etc.

Perhaps it is wrong to be pushy, but I wonder–how many people need a good push?

Wake up, sleeper!

The days of our lives fly by, then boom, they are over. What will we have to show for ourselves when all is said and done? Did we truly pursue God and glorify Him with our lives, or did we make excuses–we’re too busy, too tired, too young, too old, too shy, too inadequate to share our gifts, our time, and our love? How many of us will be surprised to learn Jesus wasn’t just referring to sitting in a pew or tithing regularly when He said, “Take up your cross and follow me?”

We each have ways we can be generous and glorify God with our lives. Our pastors and lay leaders should not have to push us to get involved and engaged; we should cheerfully give our time and gifts for the body of Christ.

[Sidenote: Self-care is important; we can’t say “yes” to everything. I don’t advocate running one’s self ragged. God ordained a sabbath (a day of rest) from the beginning of creation.]

Thanks for reading! What are your spiritual gifts? How do you try to be generous with more than just money? Let me know in the comments.

24 comments

  1. AWESOME article, and so true! I agree that we should cheerfully and generously share our gifts and talents. We should be good leaders in when we can lead, and good followers when we can’t lead. “From everyone to whom much has been given, much will be required. (Luke 12:48a). ๐Ÿ™‚

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  2. This makes me think of what Paul wrote in 2 Cor. 9- “Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.: Viewing being asked to serve as being bothered indicates perhaps where a person’s heart is. Whatever we do and however we serve, God wants us to do so with a cheerful heart out of gratitude for what Jesus has done for us.

    That said, the way a leader treats those who serve can affect the attitude of those who serve.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You hit the nail on the head, Matt–however we serve, God wants us to do so with a cheerful attitude, remembering what Jesus has done for us. Definitely agree with the last sentence. Preachers and lay leaders need to be “servant leaders” when working for the body of Christ so they can encourage and set a good example for others.

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  3. I find it amusing that we often think someone is being pushy when a church person asks someone to do something for church, but it’s not pushy when a sports teams keeps pressing you to buy this, that, or the other thing.

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  4. I totally agree that we need to use our gifts for the Body of Christ. As our physical bodies cannot function the way it was designed to be without all the organs working together, so a church cannot function if Christians are not contributing their gifts. Most of the people prefer consumerism Christianity where they want to attend church but do not want to give up their time because it is tedious and requires building relationship with people which takes time.

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    1. Solid biblical analogy about the organs working together in the body of Christ! Also, what you said about “consumerism Christianity” is sad but so true. Thanks for dropping by and leaving a comment, Rashmi.

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  5. Hmm…One thing I know about myself, that I like about myself, is that I’m a generous person–with money. I’ve always been that way and I’m glad. I’m also generous with encouragement and empathy. But I’m quite selfish with my time. And I’m selfish with my talent. And with patience?…Forget about it. Not so good. So, yes, I need to work on these things. I must work on these things. Thank you, Lilly, for reminding me to do just that with your thoughtful post.

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  6. Your points are valid.

    The death of my friend last week Friday left me with ponderings about life.

    Just like me, he was in the choir. He drummed while I sang. It’s well.

    Besides giving my offerings and tithes, I sing in the choir.

    And I write Gospel stories on my blog.

    I offer forgiveness, and gifts in kind when God avails the opportunity.

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  7. I agree– time is the biggest gift we can give! But this is a tough one for me as ‘time’ was one of the ways I was spiritually brainwashed (by a family member/clergy. Through his scripture twisting, I was convinced that it was ‘Christian’ for me to spend hours at a time listening to a fallen pastor’s frequent narcissistic rages. It’s a long and complicated story! But, now that I’m on the other side of THAT, I tend to guard my time closely, and tend to discredit anyone who is too ‘pushy’ about what I ‘should’ be doing with my time… I also tend to do what is truly inspiring passion and energy in me and avoid those things that are draining. And by guarding my time elsewhere, when those God-given opportunities arise, I have the time/energy to give of myself freely. That might be a phone call to a friend or having someone over for dinner. It all depends. Sorting out when He is leading and when humans are interfering is the ongoing struggle for me. I think, as in ALL things relating to the Christian walk, the answer is found in sticking close to Him. Sometimes that means listening to a brother or sister in Christ as they encourage (or give a push, haha). Other times–it means ignoring them and risking looking like you are being ‘defiant’. ๐Ÿ˜Š Just my two-bits from the other side of the coin!! Great post, (as usual!!) โค๏ธ

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  8. This is so convicting Lily. Oh my goodness. I feel the same way as your friend about God asking me to teach. Like, the nerve of Him. And He literally doesnโ€™t ask me for my money. I give to the church, but He made sure the priest let us know that when our children attend the school, the money we pay in tuition is considered our tithes…so our tithes are always over and above the โ€œrequiredโ€ 10% monetarily, but my gift of teaching. I donโ€™t give of it so freely….so convicting!

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  9. This is so right. Well said, Lily โค๏ธ I may not be able to give buckets of $$…but I can carve out time to send an encouraging note. It may not be my season to go overseas on a mission trip but what about that single mom’s kids that need someone to read to them? I can do that.

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