In the sermon last Sunday, I gave examples that I know of times when people were extravagantly generous to people they either did not know or to those from whom they could never expect a return. Isn't that truly the mark of generosity? When I KNOW someone would never be able to AFFORD to repay the gift or when I can not ascertain that they could ever even find me again to repay me?
I recently had to spend what I considered to be a lot of money on back to school supplies and clothes. Then I didn't feel like my child was "grateful enough". In my mind, I was saying "when she has kids, she'll understand what I've done for her. . ." I also thought, "Hunh! In my day, my parents wouldn't have understood I had to have that to feel comfortable with my peers--she's so lucky to have me--someday she'll be grateful." I guess those thoughts and feelings are ok (well, feelings are just feelings, so they have to be ok)--but they do not qualify for Extravagant Generosity--even if I'd bought a Mazerati!!!
I got caught up in how she should be responding to my gracious gifts! She wasn't doing it right! Thank goodness our heavenly parent doesn't withhold gifts or judge us when we don't respond with suitable gratitude or enthusiasm. Thank goodness God is not waiting for us "to grow up" before those gifts even come to us.
The secret is--we could never be grateful ENOUGH or repay ENOUGH nor can we even comprehend the greatness of God's gifts.
We were discussing in Sunday school this same Sunday the gift of "forgiveness". The Lord's Prayer reminds us that God "forgives our trespasses (sins) as we forgive those who trespass against us."
We really can't wait on someone else "to get it" or "to do it right". If we give--give wholeheartedly. If we forgive--the same!
Keep on reminding us, O God, to open our hearts--bigger and wider. Deepen our understanding of your grace and love that we might share it with others!!!!