Isn’t it fun being generous?  Doesn’t it feel good to give something to someone and see them smile and say “thank you”?   In fact, it makes you want to give even more, doesn’t it?  You pledge to church, and give as you pledged, then wait for the “statement of giving” to come at the end of the quarter so you can feel good that you met your pledge.  Maybe you make a pledge to give when a student from your alma mater calls during the annual campaign; then, a week or two later, the alumni association sends you a notice asking for your gift.  You write a check, or, more realistically, go on-line with your credit card and give the $ 20 or $ 25 for the scholarship fund.  A week or so later, you receive a letter of thanks.  You feel pretty good, don’t you?  We know we do.  Oh, and one other.  You put a special license plate on your car for your college and pay the BMV an additional $ 25 dollars that goes to the scholarship fund; what a wonderful feeling that is.  Well, actually, the wonderful feeling is that everyone can see that you are proud that you went to PURDUE or BALL STATE, or, of all things, IU.

We wonder if that is really being generous.  When today’s 40 ACTS talked about the sacrifice involved in generosity, it got me thinking about my actual giving.  I never think of it as a sacrifice; we think of it as something that we just do.  We give to church, college, the BMV and other charities that peak our interest.  In some respect, I guess we are giving up something else that we could do with those $$, but it really never enters our minds.  So, we wonder, are we really being generous?   When we give up our time to do something for church or to help someone, are we missing out on something that we would rather be doing?   We don’t know how to answer those questions.

Then we think about the generosity of God and Jesus as we end this Easter season with the glorious Easter celebration tomorrow.  God gave and continues to give; just look around at the wonderful spring that has sprung this year.  Jesus gave and continues to give; just think about the peace that comes into your heart when you realize that God and Jesus love you unconditionally!

So, we don’t have the answer, and we’ll keep on giving and helping until we find it, then, we’re sure, we will continue our way of being generous.

By Pat and John Paulson