GENErosity – The War of Giving And Taking Is In Us.

Give-and-Take

I’m doing some research for our series at Evangel starting this Sunday called “Generosity Revolution” and I stumbled upon something that I found really interesting. Did you know that there is the “Science of Generosity”? Wow. I never thought of generosity being scientific.

Notre Dame University is doing research on the ‘science’ behind generosity and one of the projects they are looking at is to ask ‘scientifically’ if generosity spreads. I look forward to getting their findings when they are done.

But what I found really interesting was a quote in their brief… “If people never really behaved generously or altruistically toward one another social ties would dissolve and the network around us would disintegrate.”

Maybe we NEED to be generous to coexist. Maybe if we AREN’T generous, we will fail to truly be a community.

If that is true (which I tend to agree), then Proverbs 11:24 MSG totally makes sense to me. “The world of the generous gets larger and larger; the world of the stingy gets smaller and smaller.” Think about it. Who do you like to hang around? The Givers? Or the Takers?

If you’re like the most of us… when “takers” come around the corner… we all become astronomers (we start aimlessly looking into the sky like we actually appear to know what we are looking for). We avoid them. We know what’s coming. We don’t say, “Boy, I wish I was more like them.” If anything, it’s the opposite.

But the “Givers”… ah… we could spend all day with them. These are the people who are surrounded by so many MORE people. A circle of Givers and Takers alike. And over the years I’ve noticed something… Givers have a FAR larger reach in community as well as respect and influence than the Takers.

So maybe Notre Dame is onto something that has been recognized by the rest of us for thousands of years without the science to back it up. That a key to a healthy community, or family, or in our case a church is not bearing with each other, but rather building each other up.

Maybe Generosity is actually in our Genes.

At least that’s how I unscientifically see it,

 

C

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You’re the Exact Sinner Jesus Was Looking For

Ever wonder why ‘you’ matter to God? Why is it that you… broken… damaged… and flawed matter to a God who could choose to work through SO many other, more qualified and exceptional people?

Because they aren’t ‘you’.

In my message on Sunday I used a passage found in Matthew 9 about the calling on Matthew and how it was only 26 verses later that Jesus sent him out to do ministry (that’s a pretty short probation period!!!!).

Kerry and I were talking in between the services and she shared how God revealed to her just how important “Matthew” was for Jesus to reach others. It says…

 “As Jesus went on from there, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax collector’s booth. ‘Follow me,’ he told him, and Matthew got up and followed him.

” While Jesus was having dinner at Matthew’s house, many tax collectors and sinners came and ate with him and his disciples.” (Matthew 9:9-10 NIV)

Why did Matthew make sure to point out that there were many sinners AND tax collectors at dinner with Jesus? Because HE himself was a tax collector. The reason that Jesus had the opportunity to reach those people is because Matthew himself was a tax collector and was able to reach out to people like him.

Sometimes you may wonder why you are the way that you are. You may think that you may not matter in the ‘big picture’… but you have absolutely no idea how incredibly valuable you are to what Jesus wants to accomplish. There are SO many unique people that He wants to reach out to… and has chosen YOU to be that person to bring them to Jesus; that as you sit around with people just like yourself, they can meet Jesus.

Over the next couple of weeks we’re going to keep looking at this whole idea of being a ‘disciple’ (follower) of Jesus. Just know today that YOU matter huge in the work that He continues to do.

At least that’s how I see it,

 

Craig