Too little guilt, and too much guilt.
Overindulgent, and Austere.
I go back and forth between these two. There is a space somewhere in the middle that I am searching for. I tend towards the overindulgence side, and so I ask God for conviction, but I also do not want to become legalistic. The key is to love and enjoy God above all things. To thank God for the pleasures in life. And to be open-handed towards others. I’m still working on this.
I gave a sermon about what I learned from 1 Timothy 6:6-10, 17-19 about becoming generous. When the audio gets updated online, I’ll give a link to it here.
Here’s the text from 1 Timothy:
“Of course, there is great gain in godliness combined with contentment; for we brought nothing into the world, so that we can take nothing out of it; but if we have food and clothing, we will be content with these. But those who want to be rich fall into temptation and are trapped by many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, and in their eagerness to be rich some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pains…
As for those who in the present age are rich, command them not to be haughty, or to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but rather on God who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. They are to do good, to be rich in good works, generous, and ready to share, thus storing up for themselves the treasure of a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of the life that really is life.”
The TEDx talk that I mention in the intro of my sermon can be seen here. It’s really interesting.
And the list of ideas to become more generous that I hand out at the end of the sermon are these:
1. Brag about someone to others while they are standing there listening.
2. Volunteer time to serve your community.
3. Buy a gift card and carry it with you, waiting for the right person to give it to.
4. Give a few dollars to a homeless person.
5. Buy a pair of shoes and give them away to a person who needs them, or donate old shoes.
6. Call someone just to say “Thanks.”
7. Give a Bible to someone.
8. Ask someone, “Is there anything I can pray for you about?” Pray and see if there is anything you can do to provide some of the answer.
9. Pay a bill for someone who could use the help.
10. When someone compliments you about something you have, give it to them.
11. When standing in a check-out line, put some money into one of the reputable organizations that have a non-profit container.
12. Save coins for a month or two and then give it to a special organization.
13. Most grocery stores sell nonperishable food for the local food bank at the register. Purchase a few cans or boxes.
14. Clean someone’s house or apartment for free.
15. Wash someone’s car.
16. Baby-sit for someone so they can go run errands or have a date night.
17. Go to a senior citizen’s home and visit.
18. Invest a few hours in doing something fun with young people in the community, and talk to them about generosity.
19. Gather up your, “I just don’t need to own this” DVD’s and donate them to a senior center or a nursing home.
— I found these from this website.