Last week I shared my One Word for 2013: Abundantly.
There are several Scriptures that I'm going to be studying throughout the year that tie into this word. Some I'll share on here, some things will be between God and me. And I'm beyond excited to see where He's taking this word in my life.
One of the verses I posted last week began to unfold some of this year's journey to me, and I wanted to share that. What's been interesting this week is that I've dug into this Scripture, looked at it in different translations and even in the Greek, and while I've been amazed at some of the things I've begun to see, what has stuck with me the most is God's impression on me the first time I read it. So that's what I want to share.
First, here's the verse:
2 Corinthians 9:6-8
Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. 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. And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things, at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.
Obviously, I've highlighted a few things there. Those are the words that were bolded in my mind when I first read this Scripture.
Because I've been tired. Worn out. And ready to give up. So to read:
IN ALL THINGS
AT ALL TIMES
HAVING ALL THAT YOU NEED
AT ALL TIMES
HAVING ALL THAT YOU NEED
was like water on my dry soul. And honestly, doesn't that sound like a great start to living abundantly?
But how do we get there? Well, after those words were dangled in front of me, I went back up and started at the beginning. Now, I know Paul was referring to monetarily giving here, but right now that isn't the issue God needed to peg in me.
Selfishness has taken root. And as I re-read the Scripture, here's how I heard it:
Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly (of yourself) will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously (of yourself) will also reap generously. Each of you should give (of yourself) what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things, at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.
See. I am not only smack-dab in the middle of my "mom" years (ages 7-12), but I homeschool. This past year I've begun to want to pursue "my" dreams and have started to get a bit selfish with my time. Lost the balance of where God has me at this moment. And was surprised when I ended up dry.
Don't get me wrong--I fully believe God is doing something in my life right now, but He never meant for it to come at the cost of what He's already called me to...my family. And as selfishness began to settle in, it spilled into so many areas of my life that I started to want to give me, well, only to me.
Then I was left wondering why my relationships with my kids were suffering. Why our schooling was becoming as excruciating as pulling teeth. Why "writer's block" had become a boulder. Reading this verse nailed me between the eyes.
It's that good-ol' backwards thinking. The more we give of what we have...the more we have. God doesn't give us money, talents, or passions so we can hoard them. He gives them for one reason--to reach people for Him. Whether it's our families or a mission field. And as we sow generously, He gives generously so that the circle can continue, and in doing so we will IN ALL THINGS, AT ALL TIMES, HAVE ALL THAT WE NEED...to abound in every good work--for HIM.
Where could God be calling you to give more generously?