Whenever I meet someone who is fabulously generous, I ask them how generosity found its way into their lives. They usually talk about two things: how blessed they are, and how they have been the recipients of incredible generosity. They are strikingly grateful, and it becomes apparent just by talking to them, that their gratitude and generosity are inseparably linked.
Generosity begins with gratitude. Are we grateful for all the blessings God has poured out upon us?
They have an overwhelming sense that their lives have been blessed. When I asked them to talk to me about the blessings that inspired this gratitude, they do not speak about extraordinary things. In fact, I rarely hear anything that suggests these people were any more blessed than others. But they recognize their blessings. They take time regularly to identify the people, opportunities, possessions, and experiences they are grateful for. It is humbling to hear them speak. I realize that I have so much to be grateful for, but too often I take these blessings for granted or simply fail to reflect upon them. Am I a grateful person? There are days when I am filled with an overwhelming sense of gratitude, but there are other days when it is so easy to slip out of that state of gratitude.
We are at our best when we are grateful. One of the leading indicators of my own spiritual health is whether or not I am in a place of gratitude. I have observed this time and time again. When I get in a bad mood or become overwhelmed by a situation, I have usually lost the perspective of gratitude. Next time you are in a bad mood ask yourself if you are grateful. It is impossible to be grateful and be in a bad mood. It is when we step away from gratitude that we become irritable, restless, and discontented.
The world draws us into a conversation about all that we don’t have, but God invites us into a conversation about all that we do have. Which of those conversations are you engaging today?
Now, here is today’s generosity habit.
Give someone a foot massage. Human touch is critical to human flourishing. Babies can actually die from lack of human touch. When you know someone is exhausted at the end of a long day, offer to give that person a foot massage. Massaging the feet provides many physical and emotional benefits, but it is especially powerful at relieving stress and anxiety.
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