Be Generous. Be Kind. Love Well.
Do you find that the turn in seasons motivates you to think more intentionally about your purpose and goals? I'm not sure if I'm that way because I'm married to a teacher and our lives fall into quarterly rhythms or if is a result of being a long-term thinker.
As this past summer was approaching, I found myself asking God for direction for how to use my time, not only in the weeks ahead but also the coming fall. At the heart of the matter, I wanted to make sure to find some semblance of balance, especially with a big writing deadline hitting in August and my oldest heading off to college just a few weeks later.
It's so easy to let time slip us by and leave us with regret. Have you felt this way?
I started with my business hat on, choosing to prayerfully set some practical goals so that I could make wise decisions about where to invest my time and not allow the big-idea girl inside of me sabotage my schedule. But instead of arriving at action list, the Lord impressed upon me three guiding principles:
1) Be Generous
2) Be Kind
3) Love Well
The "be generous" principle made crystal clear sense, as I was struggling to trust in God's provision as the college tuition bills were rolling in. It's so easy to feel like I need to hold onto every cent and utilize every spare second towards productivity. Can you relate? But God was pushing me to loosen my grip on my time and money, trusting that He would provide for me while prompting me to be generous with my resources and schedule.
The "be kind" principle fell on my heart through a Mother's Day sermon preached from Proverbs 31. Oh yes, a familiar passage, and yet not! I was struck by this instruction: "When she speaks, her words are wise, and she gives instructions with kindness" (Proverbs 31:26 NLT). Am I being kind with my instructions to my kids? Not always! This is an area that needs extra attention, which requires margin space built into my whole life – and that means less time committed to work and worldly distractions!
Okay, Lord, I will strive towards being generous and kind. Anything else you have for me?
He pricked my heart again, as I read Paul’s instructions in 1 Corinthians 14 to "let love be your highest goal." Oh dear, I do stink at loving well. How about you? I was left wondering about how could I show love to my family, even in the middle of meeting a deadline? How could I express God's love to my friends, even though my time felt short? How could I be more loving towards my clients and team at More to Be, even though margin space felt short?
God didn't give me direct answers to those questions, but as the weeks have unfolded, His leading became abundantly clear as my goal-driven focus faded and the opportunities to demonstrate His love literally dropped into my lap.
And I've discovered something fresh -- when love is our highest goal, generosity and kindness find a place in our lives, too.
Love is the motivator towards a life of generosity and kindness.
How may God be urging you to be generous, be kind, and love well?
Learning and Living with You,
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