Remember this—a farmer who plants only a few seeds will get a small crop. But the one who plants generously will get a generous crop. You must each decide in your heart how much to give. And don’t give reluctantly or in response to pressure. “For God loves a person who gives cheerfully.” And God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others. As the Scriptures say, “They share freely and give generously to the poor. Their good deeds will be remembered forever.” For God is the one who provides seed for the farmer and then bread to eat. In the same way, he will provide and increase your resources and then produce a great harvest of generosity in you. Yes, you will be enriched in every way so that you can always be generous. And when we take your gifts to those who need them, they will thank God. (2 Corinthians 9:6-11)
Sundays are for downtime, family time, and rest. And in our house, HGTV. It’s a luxury for me to relax on the couch with my cup of tea watching people hunt, flip, crash, and remodel. Every episode with the same goal: finding or creating someone’s dream home. These shows are a window into human DNA! It’s as if we are wired to chase our dreams; and to know that some dreams are worth whatever the cost, financially, emotionally, and relationally. These dream homes aren’t free. They carry a significant cost in time, money, and of course, stress.
One thing I’ve noticed is during the process every couple (or person) has to decide how far they will go to get what they want in their dream home. Some of them spend the entire process watching every penny, worrying about every glitch (real or imagined) and stressing about the budget. Others are watchful, but willing to do what they must to get the home they’ve always dreamed of. Regardless of where they start, they all come to the inevitable impasse, where budget meets reality. Then they have to decide what is most important to them. And time and time again I see them go with the dream. They make small compromises along the way, but in the end the dream wins out. And interestingly enough, at the end of each show–without fail–they are happy with their decision! They are glad they invested in their dreams and bought or built the home they truly wanted.
We can learn a lot from these big spenders, I mean dreamers. Actually, I mean both…
In business and in life, there is a temptation to be stingy. We want to chase our dreams, and build a platform or business that makes a significant impact without a significant cost. And I’m not just talking money, here. We can nickel and dime ourselves in our time management, our task lists, our routines, and our bank accounts. When we focus on every small cost, or investment, or sacrifice, we lose sight of the bigger picture. Like my Sunday afternoon friends, we get caught up on the cost of flooring and forget that God has called us to be overcomers, to see things differently, to give when it hurts, and to trust Him to provide.
Of course, I am not advocating being sloppy or negligent when it comes to our finances. I am advocating that we become generous people who don’t nickel and dime our ability to bless others! Proverbs 11:25 promises “A generous person will be made rich, and whoever satisfies others will himself be satisfied.” We can be comfortable and confident that what we sow into our dreams and into the lives of others matters to God and will bring prosperity and satisfaction to our own lives. Being stingy or self-centered will have the opposite result.
If we aren’t careful, our cautious attitude can actually hinder our ability to think big, to live generously, and believe for abundance. Our willingness to invest in our dream, ourselves, and in others is what separates us from the rest of the world. God has called us to stand out from the world, and to show His lavish love to others. We can do that by giving of ourselves, our abilities, our talents, our connections to serve the people in our communities, whether that’s online or down the street.
Prayer: Father, we thank You for being generous with us. So many times you have overwhelmed us with your love and goodness. Help us become more like you. Show us where we can be generous and serve the people around us lavishly not worrying about the cost. Take every sacrifice, every investment in our dreams and use them to bless others. We trust you to bless us in return, amen.
What are some ways you can be more generous as you build your dream? Consider; your time, your gifts and abilities, your money, your words, your wisdom. What’s one thing you can do this week?