Years ago, while Ethan was eating breakfast and over a mouthful of waffles, he informed me in a serious tone that he didn’t want to have kids when he grew up. I could tell my seven-year-old had given it some deep thought.
“No kids? But you love kids,” I said.
“Yes, I do, but I don’t want any.” He seemed sure.
“Why?” I asked.
“I don’t want to have to share my Eggos,” he said matter-of-factly. Then he paused, thought further, and then said, “Or my juice boxes.”
“I hear you, man,” I said commiserating. “Your mom makes me share too!” He nodded his agreement.
Later I told Karen about Ethan’s deliberations and we had a good laugh. And we can laugh; we know our son and he is a giver. Sometimes he needs to be reminded of this fact, but I have watched him and my girls live generously, and they have learned living generously from the same place I have—their brave hearted mother.
Karen is the most giving person I know. She truly amazes me on a daily basis. She spends time just thinking about what she can do that will bless the kids, myself, our family, friends, and even strangers. When she meets people, she starts dreaming of ways to bless them.
When I asked her years ago how she knows what everyone wants for their birthdays, she said, “It’s easy, babe. I listen when they tell me.”
It’s not that people give her a verbal wish list for what they want. What she was saying is that she listens with a generous heart. When people talk, she hears what stirs them, and because she has positioned her heart to give, she is able to discern what would most bless those around her. And, according to her, it’s pretty simple—everyone can do it.
But even though Karen describes giving as simple, I know from watching her that her giving often goes beyond comfortable—Karen gives courageously. I have witnessed firsthand as she meets someone’s need while having the same need herself. Between the two of us, Karen tends to recognize need first, and because of her, we are able to give even when it’s a stretch. Without Karen, I would miss out on some of these opportunities. She is courageous. She believes. She is brave. I want to be more like her.
Being brave hearted in giving is an attribute of God and is something He is always developing in His people, both the boys who want all the Eggos and the girls who would give you the last one off their plate. He is always inviting us to experience the world through the generosity of His heart. His desire for us is to see and hear the world around us through His eyes and ears. What’s really amazing is that as we begin to experience the world this way, we are able to discern the needs and the heart desires of those around us. And we are able to give with authority from the measureless generosity of heaven, which is the same way Jesus gave…
Jesus gave generously in the authority of His promise and it often looked miraculous. When there was little food He gave generously, in power and authority, by multiplying it. When there was sickness He gave generously, in power and authority, by healing the person. When there was sin He gave generously, in power and authority, by forgiving it. There is a generosity discovered in the Promise Giver that gives us power and authority to miraculously meet the need.
I am not an expert, but by faith, I am finding my way. I am absolutely positive that what Jesus experienced is available to us today. “Greater works,” He said. Can you imagine a generosity that looks like greater works?
Brave hearted giving is how we battle against the evils of this world. Partnering with God and giving from our promise is the most powerful thing we will ever do with our lives. Giving is what saved the world, it’s what set people free. Jesus has invited us to join Him.
Generous giving is our birthright. It’s a partnership with our Father’s heart. It always further aligns our affections with His. I am learning how to live powerfully through daily and monthly decisions to give.
I am learning how to share my Eggos—Ethan too. I am learning how to live for my kids, my family, my neighbors, and this world. I am learning to be brave hearted, like Karen. I want to live powerfully generous, with my time and our finances. I want to be found faithful. And I want to leave that legacy to my kids as well.
I want to live powerfully generous, with my time, finances and revelation. I want to be found faithful. And I want to leave that legacy to my kids as well…
This was excepted from Jason’s book, Untamed.
Jason Clark is an author, speaker, and director of A Family Story. His mission is to encourage sons and daughters to grow sure in the love of an always-good heavenly Father. He and his wife, Karen, live in North Carolina with their three children. Jason’s book Prone To Love is available now.