Monday, January 14, 2013

Abundant Living


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

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 thingsat all timeshaving 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?


6 comments:

  1. Ah! Love it! I'm so glad this clicked before yesterday. LOL Thank you so much of giving yourself to me yesterday. For hours! It helped so much and I know God will reap it back into your life. You're such a blessing!

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    1. Well now, that was fun, so does it count?:) Glad it got you moving again...I gotta admit, it got me excited to push through the end of mine! Have an amazing Monday!

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  2. Oh, this is so good, Susan. I'm not a wife or mom and sometimes, I worry that I'd make a bad one simply because I am so focused on my dreams. But thankfully, my family has really pulled me away from being entirely me-focused. But still...I love that the more we give, the more we have to give. It doesn't seem to make sense, not in a logical way anyway. But time and time again, I've seen it true in my own life and in others. I think grasping ahold of that helps us live an abundant life.

    Thanks for an awesome start to my Monday! :)

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    1. Family is great at doing that, aren't they? Honestly, if I didn't have my family I think I'd have happily turned into a hermit! God's used them to pull me outside myself...though as you can see, it's a struggle:)

      And--you'll make a great wife AND mother, Melissa:)

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  3. Such a wonderfully wise, transparent post.
    Thank you, Susan.

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  4. I can truly relate to this! I am the most selfish with my time. It's been something that's been on my heart lately, and as a matter of fact, I shared this with my husband a couple weeks. "I know that I shouldn't be this way, but I'm so selfish with my time." :::sigh:::

    Thank you for sharing this, Susan. As always, your insights are a blessing to me.

    Have a great weekend! : )

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