One of the joys of the summer is to watch gardens grow. I love seeing people tend their gardens that result in vegetables, fruit or flowers. Their hard work results in tangible results that we can see and partake.
Though the joy of the summer growing season brings me a little bit of pain. I suffer from the inability to grow plants. I'm surprised my grass survives the summer. Overwatering or underwatering seems to be the downfall. I'm grateful to have family and friends that my girls can learn the gardening skill from instead of me.
We all have skills that we excel in. But there are skills in life we struggle with and tend to be resistant to trying again and again just to fail. This is definitely a justifiable reaction but not a reason to give up. One of the areas we tend to shy away from is being generous.
"Remember this: The person who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and the person who sows generously will also reap generously. Each person should do as he has decided in his heart - not reluctantly or out of necessity, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make every grace overflow to you, so that in every way, always having everything you need, you may excel in every good work." (2 Corinthians 9:6-8)
Seeing the results of a well-maintained garden is evident. You take care of the garden, and the plants will grow. Our spiritual garden may not be as evident or tangible. Yet the Apostle Paul reminds us to be generous. A generous life is not limited to money, though money is usually one of the hardest areas to crack. For many, their pocket book is the last place spiritual attitudes finally take hold.
Learning to be generous with our resources is key to having a spiritual life that is pleasing to God. God loves a cheerful giver, and the amazing thing is He is the one who has given us resources to be that generous giver. When we give of our money, resources and time, the result is grace will overflow to others around us. A generous lifestyle is evident to others, especially our family.
The opposite of generosity is selfishness. Most people don't wake up in the morning deciding to be selfish today. We have good intentions, but we get busy with life. Business is the enemy of a generous lifestyle. Our focus becomes distracted and we lose sight of those around us. Just like I starve my garden of water, the plants begin to die. So, in turn, I decided to then pour on the extra water to make them live. The results are the same, being stingy or over generous due to lack of attention results in failure.
The most wonderful thing is God is sufficient to cover my failures. He is sufficient to train me to be generous with my time, resources and money. Be an example to others by sowing generously in your life. Sow what you need for today and the results will be evident tomorrow.