We are most likely meeting for the first time as you read this, so I’m not going to jump in and tell you why you’re here (either at this blog or on this earth). But because you are here, it might be good to get to know each other some, which hopefully affords me the ability to tell you why I think I’m here and what that has to do with the idea of giving.
A long time ago, I felt that the life was hopeless and without purpose. A little less than a long time ago, someone helped me to discover just why that is. I had spent my life, up to that point, looking for hope and purpose in what I could see and hear around me, in the people and the places that I walked with and through each day. Unfortunately, people let you down sometimes and if the places around us don’t change, we usually end up changing places.
What that person so long ago helped me discover is that I am actually a guest here on this earth – my permanent residence, at the end of this life, is elsewhere. With credit to the band Switchfoot, “This skin and bones is a rental”, is a line well spoken not to mention well heeded. This body has been given to me as a gift. These possessions around me, these experiences I have, these places I get to see…they are all gifts. Yet, if I get away from the noise I realize I am frustrated by the fact that they all have expiration dates. Most alarmingly, I realize this body has an expiration date. I will not be here forever.
Since you’ve been kind enough to read this far, I hope I’m not out of order to share with you that what I also realized those years ago is that not everything around us is temporal. The me inside of me and the you inside of you – those last forever. Instead of being and temporal thing in a temporal world, you and I are eternal beings in a temporal world.
I know, I know, it sounds a little extreme and maybe even a little “out there”, but dream with me as I make this transition. If it were true, if things really worked like that (which I believe that they do) – how would it change how you think about how you spend your time … your money … your energy?
I believe the lives we live were given to us by a giver … The Giver. I believe He set an example for us of how we are to give when He sent His son, Jesus Christ, to take the punishment for the wrong we’ve done in our lives and will do in our lives. He is The Giver because He did this asking for nothing in return but to accept the gift. His most important gift sits in front of you for you to receive or walk away from.
But I also believe the Giver gave for another reason … to bring meaning to this life. You are made for more than going through the motions in the life you are living, and giving is one of the keys to bringing forth that purpose and potential. There is something amazing that happens in the process of giving. When we give, we not only help others, but we also “lose” that much more control and have to trust that things will work out OK despite our giving. It is the only way to be free of the god of money – to show it that you don’t need everything it offers to you.
Regardless of what you may or may not believe in when it comes to Jesus, the title of the blog is a reference to the hope and prayer that we all have that our cities and those around us would live generously. Things are very different when we choose this route. The title, when said quickly, also gives us “generosity”. Not an original idea on my part, but I’ve always liked it.
What follows in these posts will be a combination of ways to be wiser with our money and our spending. Some of you may use that information so you can stretch your dollars and do more with your money. That’s not a bad thing at all, and it can reap some very good dividends. Mixed in with these posts will be other posts focused on generosity, mostly because I constantly need to challenge myself with reminders to live generously, and I would be greatly humbled if any of these posts were able to help you in your journey as a giver.