Welcome to another Faith Friday podcast! We can live in plenty or lack, but how we approach that reality determines how it feels. Gratitude can be the key to turn a bad day around when needs and lack are getting us down. Generosity allows us to enjoy the blessings as they flow through our fingers, rather than causing the blessings to bounce off our hide. (Read more below)
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It’s been a challenging week here. Whenever you go to speak about generosity, gentleness and gratitude, something will happen that will test you. I look around at a parade of people behaving badly and I wage a battle within myself for focus and faith to believe that the tide can turn, and will turn. But that’s the challenge of life, and it. Is. A. Challenge!
There is a continuum between plenty and lack, and we find ourselves somewhere on that scale and choose our response. I know of wealthy folks who feel they don’t have enough, and people with barely two coins to rub together who live with joy. The question isn’t how much we own, the question is how grateful we are with what we have. Mindset is everything! Gratitude isn’t an attitude, it’s a choice!
There is another continuum between living with our hands open, and living with our fists tightly clenched with self protective fear… and you can see that in the way we respond to needs around us. See how amazingly subversive generosity is? See how the blessing flows through those who have their hands open? Somehow the blessing seems to bounce off those who are trying so desperately to keep what they have, and then even that slips away. Generosity is world changing stuff! It’s a choice we are making – not about the need we observe – but about who we are going to be. Be generous.
Here’s another revolution: there is a continuum between respect and on the other end there are power struggles, controlling behavior, manipulation, and bullying. Any time one person seeks to force another person to do something – it’s abuse. It’s the opposite of gentleness and it always backfires because it puts life in a never ending struggle of powerful vs. powerlessness and whoever is in power will be king-of-the-hill and will oppress the other – which guarantees that there will be no peace.
However, if we let go of our agenda, listen to people, and walk in gentleness, it breaks the cycles of abuse. Gentleness is world changing stuff!
Do you have any idea how hard it is to choose gentleness when someone is coming at you in an ugly spirit? Yeah? Me too. It’s been a long week. Lord have mercy on us all.
No matter what is thrown at us, we can choose generosity, gentleness, and gratitude (that’s the Holy Spirit at work in and through us) and it will change the atmosphere where we live. The more we engage with the world on these terms, the more the world will change for the better. So here’s your challenge today: generosity, gentleness, and gratitude.
Godspeed friends, and may God pour out his Holy Spirit on us all.