Today I want to talk about generosity. Most people think of generosity as giving someone money or gifts, but there is much more to generosity than monetary giving. Generosity comes from the heart. Generosity is an action word, for whether we give another woman our time, knowledge, concern, care, or our emotional support through active relational Christian mentoring (ARCM), we are being generous. In turn, we receive blessings for our generosity. Jesus said, “Give and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will measured to you.” – (Luke 6: 38. NIV). Jesus wasn't just talking about money, though. He was also talking about all the things that we can do for others out of the generosity of our heart.
Obviously, we don’t want to do things for others just so that we will be blessed. Yes, Christians will receive blessings for helping others, but blessings are not the reason that we should want to help others. Instead we should want to help or share out of the goodness of our heart, i.e. from a heart that has been changed for the better. How can our hearts be changed? Well, with Salvation our hearts begin to desire to acquire the virtues and attributes of Christ. Acquiring these virtues and attributes then creates a new or changed heart. This new heart loves other people, and wants to help others.With a new heart a believer desires to serve the Kingdom of God.
Serving in the Kingdom of God is often called “having a ministry”. Derived from both Greek and Hebrew, the word “ministry” simply means service. Each Christian woman has a particular ministry she can perform whether it is the ministry of hospitality, of music, of teaching, etc., or the ministry of active relational Christian mentoring (ARCM). When Christian women engage in their personal ministries, they are amazed at the blessings they receive. But the Scriptures also tell all Christians that we are to remember that “… Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly and whosoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. ... Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, …” – (II Corinthians 9: 6,7, 10, 11. NIV).
These Scriptures are not just talking about giving money. Rather this giving includes many areas of our lives, starting with the giving of our time, effort, and kindness to help another or to share the Gospel. The author of the book of Hebrews said, “And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.” – (Hebrews 13: 16. NIV). Actually, when we sacrifice time to do good for others, i.e. time taken from the time we have been given in life, we receive the miracle of multiplication. What is this miracle of multiplication? Well, when we do good, share with or comfort others we don’t seem to lose the time we have given away; instead our time is better used and more fulfilling. We do not miss or feel the loss of this time. With every sacrifice of mentoring time in ARCM, blessings also multiply in ways we cannot even imagine.
The miracle of multiplication applies to our acts of generosity too, for with every act of generosity our heart of generosity increases. In other words, we can develop a generous heart by doing for and helping others. ARCM gives us the opportunity to generously share our gifts, talents and resources; multiplying our generosity of heart.The miracle of multiplication also applies to our ability to love others, for every act of unselfish love creates even more unselfish love, which we can then give away. A generous heart is filled with love, which leads us into using that love to minister to others. Love is an action word, for it takes a heart of love to reach out and help another woman or to be generous.
Generosity can be found in all elements of ARCM. For example, ARCM requires listening to mentees. Listening is an action word. It is also a giving word. When we become generous in our listening we can transform our relationships and especially our ARCM. Generous listeners may gain far more than they give from just listening to another woman. This is because; generous listeners can gain patience, gain insight, gain discernment, gain self-control, gain wisdom and can gain many other Christ-like attributes. To gain those attributes and to receive other blessings and rewards, Christian women engaging in ARCM must learn to intentionally listen to their mentee, so they will know what the other woman thinks and needs. Mentors can share stories and ideas, but they should be directly related to the needs of the mentee. Remember, generosity does not focus on ourselves, but rather focuses on the needs of the other woman as insight and help is given from listening with loving hearts.
Generosity requires sincerity too. In the book of Romans we are told that “Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with God’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.” -- (Romans 12: 9-12. NIV). It is with a sincere heart that we can share our hospitality, gifts, knowledge, wisdom, etc. with another woman. Women, especially, recognize quickly when another woman is being insincere. Most Christian women and many non-Christian women have internal radar that gives us that ping when we know another person is being insincere. If we really want to share the wonder of our Salvation with another, or if we really want to help another Christian woman grow, we have to be sincere in our generosity and love.
The Apostle Paul said that we must let “the peace of Christ rule in our hearts, … And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.” – (Colossians 3: 15-17. NIV). Active relational Christian mentoring focuses on the generosity within our hearts, which comes from the thankfulness and gratitude we have in our Salvation. So whether in word or deed Christian women are to share with or help another woman who needs our particular talent, knowledge or ability, as we listen, empathize, coach, counsel, or teach her through ARCM. ARCM also focuses on sharing Christ with others who may not know Him. Through love, gratitude, sincerity, listening, and giving we can with generous hearts make a difference in the life of another woman. We can empower another woman to live for Christ, to use all the talents and gifts given to her for the Lord, and to be the best mother, wife, friend, and woman that she can be. Are you willing to mentor another woman out of the generosity of your heart?