I am so thankful for the people in my life who live with such big hearts. They quickly and selflessly serve others around them, and naturally find opportunities to live generously. We have all been blessed by people like these, but sometimes it is difficult to picture ourselves living the same way. 2 Corinthians 6 shares a glimpse of what makes living this way possible.
…God’s power is working in us. We use the weapons of righteousness in the right hand for attack and the left hand for defense. 8 We serve God whether people honor us or despise us, whether they slander us or praise us. We are honest, but they call us impostors. 9 We are ignored, even though we are well known. We live close to death, but we are still alive. We have been beaten, but we have not been killed. 10 Our hearts ache, but we always have joy. We are poor, but we give spiritual riches to others. We own nothing, and yet we have everything.
It is ultimately God’s power that gives us the ability to have the type of hearts that not only endure and find life, but that are able to offer life to others. When we have God’s power working in us, it enables us to do truly amazing things, and causes us to stand out even when criticized or facing less than ideal circumstances. When we have God’s power given to us by the new life we have with Jesus, we are able to “give spiritual riches to others.”
But there is one other thing that we need to receive this power.
11 Oh, dear Corinthian friends! We have spoken honestly with you, and our hearts are open to you. 12 There is no lack of love on our part, but you have withheld your love from us. 13 I am asking you to respond as if you were my own children. Open your hearts to us!
We need open hearts. We need open hearts to receive the love of God. We need open hearts to share love generously with others. If we want to stand out and live generously it starts with our own hearts. This Thanksgiving season, would you take a minute to do a few things (maybe with your friends and family around the dinner table)?
- Take a minute and open your hearts by reflecting on the way that you have been blessed by others.
- Open your hearts by sharing ways that God is challenging you to extend to others grace and generosity.