I’ve always been generous in the minimal-amount-required kind of way. You know what I’m talking about- I’m the kind of giver that doesn’t mind giving if it doesn’t put me out or disturb my daily life too much.
I can offer you endless examples of this kind of half-hearted giving. If I happen to have extra food, I will offer to make a meal for a new mom. If I’m already planning on going to church on Sunday, I will volunteer in Kids Church. If I have extra cash, I don’t mind writing a check to a family member or friend in need. If I can work outside and not speak too much about my faith, I enjoy participating in local civic activities.
Yuck. I don’t like being an if-it’s-convenient-for-me kind of giver. I don’t want to think about me, me, me, and me, me, me. Wait, what were we talking about again? Oh, yes, me.
I want to change, but change is tricky. Change calls sweetly to me, and then scurries away before I have the opportunity to get a good look.
I pray sincerely for a giving heart, and then I wait for the earth to shake and my giving heart to arrive.
However, I’m too Type-A and not very good with downtime. So while I’m just sitting here, I decide to get involved in a few things. Not big things. Easy things.
I listen, really listen to my friend’s worries.
I spend an afternoon with an organization that is trying to improve local rivers.
I absorb the stories of a girl and her family working at an orphanage in Thailand.
I make time to go over and talk to my elderly neighbor about her beautiful flowers.
Hmmm…still no giving heart.
I read accounts of people working to end human trafficking.
I make that call when I just don’t feel like it.
I search out stories of giving in the Bible.
I start being more thankful.
Giving heart? Not yet.
I wonder daily about the things that break God’s heart.
I buy less.
I hear about a cool organization, and I look it up online.
I read about hate in Sudan, and I make a point of finding Sudan on a map.
Giving heart? Uh, come on God! Can’t we speed this process up?
Then something funny happens. I start thinking of myself less. Does that mean I’m thinking of others more? Sometimes. Does that mean my giving heart has finally been delivered? Sorry, I must report not yet.
But, come close, and I will tell you something. Change is no longer running away from me. I see change walking right beside me, and although I can’t make out all the details, I’m pretty sure God is going to introduce us soon.