“… whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully…God is able to make every grace abundant for you, so that in all things, always having all you need, you may have an abundance for every good work…” (2 Corinthians 9:6-10)
St Paul writes these things in the context of financial giving, but when I read them recently, I thought more of other forms of possible generosity – time, attention, energy – those other, non-material resources that are likewise limited, as are our financial resources.
When I look back on my life, I see many years when I “measured” myself , “sowing sparingly” instead of bountifully. I see that at times I lived hesitantly, fearful of being intruded upon or being taken for granted by others. I sometimes feared that I might not have enough time, or energy, or internal resources if I volunteered to help someone or stepped up to serve in some capacity. It’s not that I never did these things, but I see that I often deferred to someone else, secretly worried about not having enough for me, for my needs and responsibilities.
I recognize now that I often failed to trust God’s Providence – His moment-by-moment, sovereign, loving, generous provision in my life. Instead, I relied on my own planning, my own “program”, my own judgement. Unfortunately, my view of things is always greatly limited, restricted by my feeble humanity and its limitations. God’s is not limited: He multiples bread and provides abundant wine for those in need!
Instead of taking God at His word, actually believing that what His word says is truly reliable – “…in all things, always having all you need…” – I instead hoarded my time and energy, thinking that there wouldn’t be enough, a kind of scarcity mentality.
I’ve been praying recently that God, by His great grace, would change my heart so that I might become more like Jesus: staggeringly generous, lavishly merciful, always humble and dependent on the Spirit, living in the abundant flow of the Father’s love and supply.
I pray that I would have the courage to risk, according to God’s design and plan. That I would more generously give of myself, not “hugging” the blessings and goodness of God to myself, but instead being willing to share myself more, to serve others more, to love more bountifully with my deeds and actions, serving Christ by serving others.