I wrote last week about our first rhythm: Generous Blessing.
Generosity is a natural response to God’s goodness to us, and an effective way of spreading good news! What kind of difference could we make if we became known in our neighborhood as people who were characterised by compassion?
How can we practice generous blessing as individuals and communities? In what ways could you serve others, give of yourself, or seek good for someone at your own cost? Here are 5 things we could do to develop this rhythm amongst us.
We practice generosity because we are loved and blessed by God. Do you regularly experience God’s love in your life? I have found that I am better able to receive God’s blessing when I am looking for it. I have developed a habit of writing down 5 good things in my life each day. This has helped me notice what God is doing around me and also made space for more blessing.
We know our words are very powerful. James says they can bless or curse. Choose to speak generously and gratefully. Tell people the good things you see in them. Write encouraging notes or letters. Be deliberate about using speech that builds people up.
Often, I have caught myself saying to people “let me know if there is anything you need”. That is not an attitude of generous blessing! Much better to take initiative. Pray for a friend and neighbour, ask God what you could do to bless them and then do it.
Share what you have with others and don’t be embarrassed to be very practical. Bake a cake, offer to babysit, put some cash in an envelope and post it through a letterbox, drop round with a prepared meal. The more you start to think about it, the more ways to be generous you will see. Remember that small steps accumulate and can be much better than big gestures.
Make it spiritual
Blessing is a spiritual act where you demonstrate and declare God’s goodness in a person’s life by praying for or with them. Why not choose 3 friends and set a time to ask God to bless them and awaken them to his love each day?
One last thought…it’s hard to bless when you judge or hold a grudge!
The further you go with this rhythm the more you will see that unforgiveness and judgement really get in the way of our ability to bless others. Jesus is very clear – don’t judge, and practice forgiveness. As you grow in generosity be ready to let God reveal to you ways in which he wants to help you also grow in mercy and forgiveness.
So, what is God saying to you about this rhythm, and what are you going to do about it? Start some conversations with God and your community.