Would your friends say you are generous with your time, talent and treasure? How about your family or your church? A pastor may challenge you to look at your check book or debit card statement to assess how generous you have been with your money. The sermon usually goes along the lines of, “where your money goes reflects where your heart is.” In a similar vein, kids may challenge you to look at your calendar to see how generous you have been with time committed to them. Where you spend time does reflect priorities in life.
Ideally, the checkbook would reflect at least a tithe to the church and support for great para-church ministries. Likewise, your calendar would show birthdays, anniversaries, school events and other kids’ activities as priorities across the year. Time, talent and treasure are all gifts from God and He is glorified through generous giving of those gifts for Kingdom work.
“Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, Who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.” – 1Timothy 6:17-19. In America we are all rich in a worldly perspective. By design, how each of us handle being rich is a personal choice. To do good, to be rich in good deeds, we are to be generous and willing to share. This can be as simple as asking a friend how he is doing and then commit time to listen; as involved as a family committing to do a Thanksgiving service project together; as challenging as starting a new ministry or mission initiative; or as bold as financially supporting a ministry or mission initiative. The command is to be generous, to invest our riches in Kingdom work.
Tips to Be Generous:
- Review your priorities – The checkbook and calendar are good starting points to assess where the money and time are going. Then ask the tough question – Do the results reflect priorities that glorify self or glorify God?
- Make a plan – Have a family meeting on how your collective time, talents and treasure could be used for Kingdom work;
- Work the plan – Follow through on action to be taken individually and as a family.
- Be accountable – Take the plan to your battle buddies and ask them to challenge you on different aspects of generosity. This is Kingdom work so seek out some brothers for their perspective on what God is up to.
Prayer guide: Lord, thank You for the many gifts and blessing You have granted me. Guide me as I seek to be generous with the time, talent and treasure You have given me. Strengthen me to stand firm against temptations that eat up time, belittle my talents and waste my treasure. Equip me to be a good and faithful servant that glorifies You in family and beyond. Amen.
A faithful father is generous with his time, talents and treasure in family and beyond.