We hosted Robert Morris, the author of The Blessed Life
, at Central this weekend. As a result, I was able to meet him and spend some time with him backstage. First off, the guy is a class act and is a fantastic public speaker. What stood out to me the most when I read his book was all of his stories about generosity. You cannot help but feel inspired. As I’ve reflected on his book, the issue in my mind has been how do you know whether God is actually asking you to bless someone?
Let me put it another way. Isn’t it always a good idea to bless someone? I mean, when would it not be the right thing to give something of yours to another person? More importantly, how do you function if every person you interact with is an opportunity for generosity that you should do something about? Isn’t it selfish to think otherwise?
I realize that it’s hard to figure tone of voice when reading something instead of hearing something, but my guess is you can hear the stress that comes from the questions in the preceding paragraph. I’m exhausted just typing it.
That’s why I wanted to know how a guy like Robert, who is known for his generosity, determines how to be generous and who to apply it to. When we had a moment of down time after a service I asked him this question. His answer both surprised me and intrigued me.
“It’s not always a good thing to give.”
He explained that you have to look at this aspect of giving as stewardship. We mostly apply the stewardship concept to get us to start
giving, but it also should affect when we stop
giving. He explained that if he gave me a bunch of money to manage for him, and I told him that I gave a bunch of it away, than it wasn’t just me being generous. It was me mismanaging someone else’s stuff.
That’s why he said that he always tests his prompts that he feels to give (this is for major giving opportunities and not necessarily a situation of giving a person $20 bucks in your pocket). He tests it in three ways:
- Confirming it with his wife (does she feel the same way about it?)
- Confirming it with Godly counsel (do others sense the Spirit telling them the same?)
- ConfirmingÂ it with a sense of peace from God
He also said that God might be having you save up to give away something really big but you can spoil that by giving out smaller amounts every time you see an opportunity.
While much of this feels counterintuitive, I like how it puts the ownership on the Spirit of God and whether we are taking the time to listen for Him. We need to be praying that God would show us people that we can bless, but also that He would teach us how to not feel guilty when it isn’t what we are called to do with His stuff.
How about you? Do you agree that it isn’t always a good thing to give?
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