How We Are Generous
By Fullerton Free | March 18, 2021
When Jesus was asked “What is the greatest commandment?”, he responded with “to love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind and all your strength. And to love your neighbor as yourself and generosity is putting that same love into action. We give out of love because we are loved.
To encourage us to practice the discipline of generosity, we asked some of our FF family to share with us how they have experienced or practiced being generous. May you be encouraged by the ways they practice this discipline and maybe even be inspired to practice in a similar way. No matter what, our prayer is that you would take time listening to God, diving deeper into your relationship with Him as we practice this discipline together.
“It’s fun to think about the spiritual discipline of generosity because I have been a recipient of such generosity over the years. I have experienced God’s love and generosity through those who have gone before me, through time, resources, gifts, being welcomed into homes for dinner and so much more! I used to leave an encounter with someone who is generous and think, ‘I can’t wait to be generous like that someday when I am older.’ It wasn’t too long ago I realized that the muscle of walking in obedience to give starts now. I feel like I am at the very beginning of the road of learning to be obedient to give the money that has been given to me. The word ‘discipline’ makes a lot of sense to me in this arena because it has taken some serious work to learn how to budget and stick to that budget well. My accountant husband helps enforce our monthly budget meeting each month where we budget a specific amount to give away to whoever God prompts us to give to. This is an idea someone older, wiser and more generous passed my way. It has been so fun. It feels like God has invited us to a party where we get to pick together who to bless each month with that amount. I love that God invites us into that. He could provide for his children without us but instead lets us be on His blessings team committee. I think it is really kind and loving that God allows us to experience such deep joy when we give. Discipline is always hard to some degree – that is why it is called discipline – you have to work towards it. But the joy in giving has been really sweet and so beautiful – the way that God uses His children to take care of His children all for His Glory.” -Stephanie Tanquary
“Generosity instantly makes me think of financial generosity. But as I look at how I have practiced generosity in this stage of my life, it most often looks like the loose holding of what I have for the use of others and trying to think of how I can bless others with what I currently have without wanting anything in return. My wife and I love to surf and anyone who surfs knows that you find yourself accumulating boards and wetsuits. It has been one of the greatest joys to offer these to others so they learn and enjoy something we also love. It also has been a good exercise to view these as items that are replaceable and breakable. The value they offer is their use and it’s been a joy to give them without worrying about how they will be returned to us.” -Kody Stavert
“Giving is fun. Judy and I enjoy participating with God in furthering His Kingdom. A few years ago I slowly read through Luke looking for all the places Jesus talked about money and wealth. It was a very good study for me to consider Jesus’ view on money and especially giving. The thought that stood out to me then and even more today is how much Jesus talked about giving to the poor. This caused Judy and me to take another look at our giving and to increase the amount going to ministries to the poor. We enjoy seeing our church, through the Thanksgiving 50,000 Days of Christmas offerings, and local ministries like OC United use the resources of people within our community to benefit those in need.” -Carl Camp
“I find that being generous is a positive experience – I can’t think of a time it wasn’t. And don’t we all have a need for something positive during this pandemic? I also find that it is something that I have control over. It is my decision to be generous with my time, money and love. Have you felt out of control during this pandemic? Take control and do something positive by being generous in whatever way the Spirit moves you! In the same way that you may pray in the morning that the Spirit would place someone in your life that you could share Jesus with, pray that He brings someone to mind that you can be generous to. Let’s be positive and generous!” -Diane Freeman
“It sounds a little presumptuous to say that I am generous, but I do think I could say that God has helped me be generous by putting in my path all kinds of circumstances where people or organizations have a need. My position here at Fullerton Free has put me in contact with so many different situations where our church has the opportunity to be generous. For example, helping a high school basketball team when they lost their gym and have no place to practice, helping provide an AA group find a space to meet when they lost their building or to provide local students space to gather so they do not have to do virtual school in a tent.
While this is very rewarding, God also regularly provides me opportunities to be personally generous. One of the most recent opportunities that has opened up to me involves a fellow named Mike. Mike called me and said he needed a coat. I went to our Clothes Closet and found a jacket for Mike. A week later Mike called me and in the most humble way told me he needed another jacket. I asked him what happened to the one I gave him. He told me he gave it to a homeless man. I knew there wasn’t another heavy coat in the Clothes Closet so I ran to the Goodwill store and found a really nice black leather jacket. I bought it and delivered it to Mike. He was so happy and grateful – it was such a blessing. I thought I was supposed to be blessing him and instead he blessed me.” -John Schaefer