Are You Ready To Step Beyond Yourself?

Do you have a giving heart?  A heart that tends toward generosity?  I’m not just talking about giving money to the guy standing at the side of the interstate ramp holding a sign.  I’m talking about having a HEART toward giving where your default setting is generous.  I have an uncle who is very special to me.  He is like that.  His default setting is to help others.  He has served as a great example to me of what a person can do if they only take the time to care about people.

Helping handWe all seem to know people who are not this way.  People who seem to be self absorbed. The “self focused”.  To some the primary concern is how people see me, while others want the latest model car and the house that keeps up with the Jones’.  Most of the time these people only talk about themselves and manage to find ways to always bring the conversation back around to them.  These people do not seem to be interested in others and while they may have thoughts of helping people, they do not have these thoughts very often.  As Michael Hyatt has often said “These people are tuned in to the WIIFM channel.  What’s In It For Me”.

We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give. – Winston Churchill

To have a giving heart, you have to be convinced that God has your back.  If you don’t have an understanding of this, you will have a hard time because you will be torn between being responsible to meet your own needs and reaching out to be selflessly generous to others.  Jesus said in Matthew 6:25,28,31 & 34 that we are to “Take no thought” for the natural things; What we should eat, drink or wear.  He wasn’t saying don’t ever think about these things, but he was saying don’t “Be Anxious” (WEB) about them.  “…for your Heavenly Father knows that you need all of these things.  But seek first God’s kingdom and His righteousness; and all these things will be given to you as well”.  When we understand this and have confidence in our Heavenly Father to meet all of our needs, we can operate from a position of strength.  A position as Heirs.  A position as representatives of the family of God, conducting the Father’s business in the earth.

Having this confidence allows us to step beyond ourselves and operate as the Father would operate.  To truly care about people knowing that as we truly seek His kingdom, He takes personal responsibility for providing what we need.  We have the Father’s heart toward people and really care about them.

Some earmarks of a giving heart are:

  1. A heart that is touched by the need.  Hebrews 4:15 says Jesus himself was touched by the feelings of our feeble flesh.  In contrast, a heart that is calloused by years of me first thinking and selfishness will not see the importance.  Not My Problem. When we read in Isaiah 59 we find that God himself looked and saw that there was no judgment in the earth.  The people needed an intercessor but that one could not be found, so He sent His own son, (His Right Arm), to be an intercessor.  God Himself looked and saw the need and it displeased Him.  A giving heart will be like that in allowing the need to move them to at least pray, and if the Spirit leads, move them to action.
  2. A heart that doesn’t condemn.  People have problems and sometimes our tendency is to look and say “I just don’t know how they could have done that”.  But you are not faced with what they have faced and you are not in their shoes.  It is so important to understand that we should NEVER judge others.  The bible warns that when we judge others we are condemning ourselves.  Why? Because when you judge others, you are saying that you know right and wrong in that situation.  When you blow it, your own words condemn you.  In John 8:11 Jesus asked the woman who was caught in adultery where her accusers were.  “Has no man condemned thee? She said, “No man Lord”.  And Jesus said unto her, “Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more”.  There is more than one lesson here.  Jesus didn’t condemn her, but Jesus also didn’t approve of her sin.  His words were sin no more!
  3. A heart that speaks.  First, a heart that speaks for those who have can not speak.  A heart that is moved to action and to raise awareness.  Second, a heart that speaks to the wounded heart.  You have the power to minister encouragement to the wounded.  You can use your voice to bring words of faith and hope to those who need it most; to take a hand and say “You’re not alone in this”.
  4. A heart that doesn’t wait for someone else to do it.  If we are moved by compassion to help, then don’t wait.  You could be the very answer someone is praying for.  You could be the hands, feet & provision of God to a person in need.  Don’t wait for someone else to do it and miss your opportunity to sow good seeds for a future harvest.
  5. A heart that is willing to be spent.  Paul the Apostle in 2 Corinthians 12 indicated that he didn’t want to be burdensome to the Corinthian church because he didn’t want their stuff, but them.  He said that he would “Very gladly spend and be spent for you…”  A giving heart will spend expecting nothing in return so that others can be blessed.

I challenge you this week to reach out to help someone above and beyond your normal activity.  Step out beyond yourself a little more and see how God will use you to help someone. Take the bridle off of the goodness in your heart and see what happens.  You will be blessed, but you will not be the only one.

That’s what I consider true generosity. You give your all, and yet you always feel as if it costs you nothing. – Simone De Beauvoir

How were you able to help someone this week?  I would love to hear your story.  Join the party and leave a comment.  If you were helped by this and think it could help others, please feel free to share it.

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One Response to Are You Ready To Step Beyond Yourself?

  1. Mary Ruwe says:

    I especially like the idea of having a “default setting of generosity”, we should work to develop this type of heart.

    Also liked the WIIFM channel…(what’s in it for me) comment; something we should avoid. Thanks for your teaching.

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