I realized Tuesday morning a great inconsistency with my recent thinking. While cleaning out the entire house, including attic and garage, I've felt very virtuous about donating so many things to goodwill that I could have made some money on if I'd listed them in Craigslist. I've felt like I'm paying it forward and that the Lord is going to bless me one day as a result. I've nearly wrenched my mental shoulder patting myself on the back.
I've also seriously gotten my back up about donating my hair. My hair nearly reaches the seat of the chair and it's driving me crazy. I've found places online where I might be able to sell 10 inches for $300-500. I've been thinking that I want my money! I want to spend it on something tangible that I can point to and say, "I bought that with my hair money," like a stove or something. Or a piece of furniture. What do I want to spend it on? What is it that we need that's that big? And smaller than a car down payment or a roof. Nothing that I can think of. NOTHING! How often is it in life that there's nothing that you're saving for?
So I'm frustrated because I want my money and I'm frustrated because there's nothing I can think of to spend it on. While being self-righteous about donating other things and prickly about the suggestion that I donate my hair to Locks of Love. I find myself sitting around preparing comebacks when people chirpily say, "Oh! You could give it to Locks of Love!" as if this had never occurred to me. As if no one would ever have long hair because they like having long hair. Some of my snappy comebacks include, "So could you if you just shaved your head!" and "And YOU could donate your car!" and "Do you still have two kidneys? Well you could donate one!" See? Really snarky.
Also I'm really annoyed by how long my hair is and wanting to cut it like NOW. I'm waiting waaaay too long between washings. It's too long to enjoy running my fingers through it - its nearly longer than my arm. Because I dread it, and put it off, it takes me 20 minutes to comb it out. Last night, combing it out put me in a bad mood.
And then there's this little thing I received from Joyce Meyer Ministries about the power of generosity. When I first saw it and felt all smug because I've been very generous lately with my stuff. Except for my hair.
Here's the message from Joyce Meyer:
When you focus too much on the sacrifices you must make in order to give, you will fail to see that the act of giving, in itself, can create true joy and fulfillment! If you’re going through a difficult time, be even more determined to invest in the lives of others in a radical way. If your life is going good right now, KEEP INVESTING in others…it’s working. As you choose to live a generous life and reflect on the Father’s heart of generosity, God will not only change you, but also the world around you!
Today, you can have every blessing God has for you. But the way to get there is NOT through focusing on yourself, drowning in your own misery or worrying about how others treat you. Think about the impact you can make if you look for opportunities to be generous to others everywhere you go. Embrace generosity and give of yourself every day to make the lives of those around you better. You will be blessed more than the person who is receiving the blessing.
We can generate positive change when we make practical, everyday choices to give to others with a heart of love. God loves a cheerful giver, yet many of us need an attitude adjustment (Goldy-locks!). Every believer needs to deliberately declare war on selfishness. Jesus went about doing good and we should also. So many people need to know that someone cares. Here’s your challenge today: spread the love of God by being generous. It could be through simple, deliberate acts of kindness or sharing your monetary resources. Trust God to lead you in practical, yet loving,, ways, with joy.
The key to seeing miracles happen in your life is getting outside yourself and becoming involved in the lives of others. You can express generosity by giving your TIME, TREASURE (Goldy-locks!), and TALENTS. Are you willing to share your time, compassion, prayers and attention with someone who needs it? Do you give not only your money, but other resources – including yourself (Goldy-locks!)– to others who need a helping hand? How are you sharing your talents, gifts and abilities with others? We must be willing to give ourselves as a sacrifice, (Goldy-locks!). Decide to live a life of loving generosity and then watch what God does IN you and THROUGH you.
The best way to survive a financial crisis is to be generous. The biblical perspective of finances is to keep on giving, especially during challenging financial times. You can reach out to bless others in your family, your neighborhood, your church, on your job…anywhere and at any time. As we obey God and help others, He will meet all of our needs and bless us. The enemy wants you to be fearful about tomorrow. Instead, do whatever you can to live in righteousness, peace, joy and generosity and trust God for the rest. Proverbs 28:27 says, He who gives to the poor will not want…THAT’S the power of generosity. (End of Joyce Meyer pamphlet.)
So now I'm actually thinking about Locks of Love completely against my will. Sometimes when the Lord is working on you, there's the distinct chance that it will make you really crabby. I hate doing things that are good for me.