This is the last blog of a 3-part series called Living a Generous Life. We will discover why generosity is important. We believe God has called us to partner with his kingdom work in the world by blessing the people around us in a variety of ways.
By the end of this series, we hope to leave you with one thing: Knowing how to live with the awareness that leads to action that will leave a lasting impact.
If you missed the first 2 blogs, you can check them out by clicking the links below…
- Living a Generous Life | Part 1 Awareness
- Living a Generous Life | Part 2 Action – Giving from a Generous Heart
In this series, we have highlighted 7 different ways in which we can be generous and how to move from desire to action.
In short, the idea of being generous with our thoughts, words, money, influence, time, attention, and belongings not only impacts others but also changes us.
Hopefully, by now, you may start to see why generosity is important. Generosity is about taking your entire life—everything you are and everything you own—and using it to bless the people around you.
In part 1, we talked about the first step on the pathway to a generous life: awareness. I pray the Holy Spirit has helped you keep your antenna up and has shown you opportunities to be generous to the people around you.
In part 2, we talked about moving from a desire to be generous to living generously. Our challenge was to start small and let God multiply our faithful efforts.
Why Generosity Is Important
It’s been so exciting to start to hear your stories of generosity. Isn’t it amazing what God can do when we look past our limits and give Him what we have? In this blog, we are going to talk about the final step on our path towards a generous life: impact.
What comes to mind for you when you hear the word “impact?” If you’re a sports fan, it might be the collision between a linebacker and a running back he’s trying to tackle, or maybe a right hook from a boxer as he hits his opponent. Maybe the first thing that comes to mind is a moment when you lost your footing, and you knew you were about to make an impact on the ground.
If you are anything like me, the thing you care most about is if anyone saw you stumble. Sometimes the embarrassment is worse than the actual physical pain. This is how we normally think of impact—the action of one object coming forcibly into contact with another.
However, there’s another definition of impact as well. Impact can also mean;
“Having a strong effect on someone or something.”
Creating an Impact
Impact is something that we as human beings have the ability to create. And I’m not talking about the kind of impact that happens when you fall down. I’m talking about the kind of impact we can have when we commit to living generous lives.
We see this happening all around us. Let me ask you a question: Have you ever been impacted by another person? You’re nodding your head yes or smirking because you remember the moment. I can say that confidently because we have all been impacted by other people.
But here’s what most of us have never thought about. That person who impacted your life so deeply was also impacted by someone else. And that person was impacted by someone before them. When you are impacted by another person, you are most likely experiencing what I like to call “the ripple effect.”
Maybe you’ve experienced the ripple effect at Starbucks. You’re in the drive-thru and take out your money to pay and the cashier tells you the person in front paid for you. They’ve already driven off, you can’t thank them, but you decide to pay it forward. So you pay for the person behind you. This is why generosity is important. That kindness ripples throughout your day and becomes something bigger.
Just like you might not see the start of a wave in the ocean, or the point of impact that causes a ripple through a lake, most of us never see the beginning of the impact we experience. Why? Because impact goes all the way back to the beginning of human history.
When you read the Bible, you see the story of God creating humanity in His image. A generous God who breathed life into his people and invited them into his story. All Impact can be traced back to this moment. I share all this with you to make a very important point.
The Impact of Jesus and His Generosity
Remember when Jesus promised his followers that He would be the one to defeat death and reconcile all of humanity back to the Father? And while his followers didn’t quite understand what this meant, they were witnesses to his death on the cross and subsequent resurrection from the dead.
After his resurrection, Acts 1 tells the story of Jesus ascending into heaven. At this point, he gives his followers a command: to be witnesses for him in the entire world. In other words, they were commanded to tell his story.
In essence, Jesus is challenging his followers to have an impact on their world because of the impact he has had on them.
Jesus is creating a ripple effect!
And to ensure that this ripple effect continues, the first followers of Jesus are given the Holy Spirit to guide them and give them power as they continue to have an impact in the world.
Don’t miss this important truth: generosity inspires generosity!
The generous life is extremely contagious, and when we commit to being generous people, the ripple effect will continue to create more generosity in the world. In order for the impact of the ripple effect to continue, we have to get better at generosity and keep in mind this is why generosity is important.
We must become more aware, more intentional, and more active. If we as the church commit to increasing our generosity, our impact will grow exponentially. If we fail to do it, then the ripple will stop, and we will find ourselves having very little impact in the world.
So how do we, as followers of Jesus and as the church body, multiply our impact through generosity? Of course, there are many answers to this question, but today I want to focus on one. And I believe if we would instill this practice into our lives and into our church, we would see a greater impact than we’ve ever seen before.
As we end this series, I want to mention one last thing that living a generous life will give you and tell you exactly why generosity is important. If you choose to commit yourself to a generous life, you will create a legacy.
The dictionary defines legacy as, “anything handed down from the past to the next generation.”
Let this sink in for a moment. Generosity is not just about what it does for you. It’s not even just about what it does for the recipient of your generosity. A generous life has the power to go far beyond your life and your story.
We all know our time here on this earth is limited, but the ripple effect of our generosity has the ability to be used by God far beyond our lifetimes. It doesn’t matter how old you are. What you are doing today is creating your legacy.
So here is the question: What is the most powerful legacy you can create? I’ll give you a hint: It isn’t money, and it isn’t fame.
Each of us has the opportunity to create a legacy of generosity. You can live a generous life today, and I promise it will continue to impact people well after you are gone.
I want to ask you to do something as we end this series. Will you say this prayer today?
Dear Lord, I want to experience the joy that comes from being generous. I ask for you to send an opportunity to be generous my way. I ask that you give me the discernment to recognize it when it does come my way, give me the courage to jump in and give. AMEN