It is almost impossible to argue against this simple truth: “Everything about our lives, in some way, is the result of choices we have made.” Life is a daily gift that is largely influenced and shaped by choices. Many are seemingly inconsequential, such as our choice of breakfast in the morning. Others are far more significant and impactful, such as choices surrounding school, dating, career paths or friendships. I argue that the most important choice we make in life is what we will do with Jesus. Will we trust him wholeheartedly or passively ignore him?
Deuteronomy 13 warns us against serving false gods and reminds us in v4 of the fundamental choice in life: “It is the Lord your God you must follow, and him you must revere. Keep his commands and obey him; serve him and hold fast to him.” The writer goes on in chapter 14 with some choices around dietary restrictions (it’s good to know we should never cook a young goat in its mother’s milk!), and some admonitions on living a generous life. Moses explains the law of tithing and why it matters so much. He ends with the promise of blessing that comes to those who give generously.
As a young kid, someone in Sunday School taught me that giving to God was the best way to live. I chose to believe her and began a life practice of tithing. It’s honestly the simplest decision I make each month in how to spend the resources God entrusts to me. But I don’t give to get. I give because I’ve already received so much from God. Giving generously is a natural response to his provision and blessing.
We can’t control COVID-19, or any of the side effects it is depositing into our lives. But we can choose to trust, to hope, to believe and to be generous amid this pandemic. Attitude is a choice. Optimism is a choice. Kindness is a choice. And yes, generosity is a choice.
Lots of people claim ownership to this quote, but I’ll credit my High School namesake, Churchill, who said, “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.” Jesus spoke of the “narrow path” in Luke 13. This road, which is sadly less travelled, is marked by the choice to be generous in our words, hugs, affirmations, acts of kindness and our giving. Let us give much in every way that we might live well in every way.
Key thought: Who needs an intentional act of kindness from us today?
So much of who I am is because of the kindness and generosity of others.