Our true image of God is reflected in our generosity.
This might be troubling, especially if we are constantly making excuses why we shouldn't be generous. If I'm only generous in certain circumstances or toward certain people, I have to ask myself, is God only generous under certain circumstances? Is God only generous toward certain people. That's a frighteningly small image of God.
To think of God who is unlimited in generosity--well, that can be scandalous. To worship such a God calls us to go beyond our thinking of merit. It requires to move from a mindset based on scarcity, where everything is a zero-sum game. When we worship a God of unlimited generosity, we no longer divide the world into winners and losers. Rather, we see everything as beloved.
The question I have to ask myself is, Does my spiritual journey lead me toward a god of scarcity or the God of generosity?
This Week's Meditations
Sunday: The goal of the spiritual life is to learn how to be generous.
Monday: I can be generous simply by giving someone the benefit of the doubt.
Tuesday: The less I share--and allow others to share--the less I know God.
Wednesday: Generosity will always be a little bit reckless.
Thursday: Through generosity, I receive a great gift--joy.
Friday: The obstacles I face in being generous will reveal my attachments.
Remember that you are in the presence of God. Take a moment to center yourself in the Divine presence, which is within you.
You were made to be free to know, understand, and be with God. What will you do with this freedom? Use this time to give thanks for this gift.
Look back on each day of your week. Identify moments of generosity. When did you share yourself with others? What did you share? When did you allow others to share themselves with you? What did you share?
Now identify moments of stinginess. When did you have an opportunity to share yourself with others but chose not to? Why? When did you refuse to give people the opportunity to share themselves with you? Why?
Compare these moments. Which ones brought you feelings of lover, mercy, joy, and compassion? Which ones brought you feelings of anxiety, fear, sadness, anger, or distress? Which moments led you closer to God?
Spend a moment and talk to Jesus about these moments. How does he see them? What does he say about them? Which "you" does Jesus want you to be--the person who is generous or the one who is stingy? Ask for whatever grace you need to be that person.
Look forward to the week to come. How might you exercise generosity? How might you be aware of and respond to moments when you are not generous?
Close with this prayer or one of your own: Lord, fill me with your generous love so that I may be generous to all. Amen.