by Kathy Matuschka
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‘Because of the service by which you have proved yourselves, others will praise God for … your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else’ (2 Corinthians 9:13).
I use the term ‘wise generosity’ to indicate acts of generosity that are not done with the expectation of receiving something in return, either from the recipient or from God. Nor are they done to assuage a sense of guilt. They are gestures made in the freedom of the knowledge that there is nothing we can do to make God love us any more or any less and that the outcome of our generosity is in God’s hands and not in our own.
Today, we consider another great need in this world: care and compassion. I’m a listener a lot of the time. Listening to people’s stories energises me. But, as an introvert and an empath, I can easily find myself overwhelmed with the suffering and emotional energy around me, and then I’m no good to anyone.
How does one practise wise generosity in a hurting, anxious world? Here are a few thoughts:
- As today’s text indicates, we are empowered by the gospel of Christ.
- We need to tap into that power every day, being renewed in our baptism.
- This power enables us to die to ourselves and the demands of our egos that so easily override Jesus’ call to be gentle and humble of spirit (Matthew 11:29).
- Spending time in God’s word and prayer enables us to develop the discipline of being attentive to where our Saviour is calling us.
- Rest in God’s arms, where we know ourselves as dearly loved children of God and worthy of our care and compassion as the next person.
Dear loving God, in these anxious times, give me a spirit of wise generosity towards both myself and others. Thank you that there is always room for me in your embrace. In Jesus’ name, Amen.