Generosity

 In Featured, Pastor Paul's Blog

By Pastor Paul Gauche

Today’s Word: ‘Generosity’ as in… the adjective that describes one of the core rhythms in the lives of those who experience a deeper sense of thriving.

It happened again last week. I got to the pick-up window of my favorite caffeine palace and was ready to pay when the barista said (again) “The person in front of you took care of your coffee.” Whenever that happens there’s a moment that follows, when it’s just beginning to sink in, that the generosity of someone else stirs something inside me. There’s an urge to replicate that moment for others.

In the Christian Scriptures there is an essential list of characteristics that describe thriving, generous people. The list, found in Galatians 5:22-23, includes love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control – fruit of the Spirit. It’s a good list. It’s an important list to pay attention to.

There are some reading this who may have grown up going to Bible camp or vacation Bible school or Sunday School, or perhaps had a terrific grandmother who taught this ancient wisdom while baking cookies. You may even have learned a song that set these words to music because everything is easier to learn when set to music. But interestingly, that song and most of the newer versions that have followed swapped out the original word, “generosity” with the word ‘goodness’. What a difference three syllables make. I dare say we might have “lost something in the translation.” These ancient words from Galatians (and I’m willing to say that if these words were some of the only words we had, they’d be just enough) are central to our thriving, if not our survival. If we get these few words right, then we get just about everything else right. Right?

Love brings joy which creates peace. In that peace, we experience more patience. When we’re patient there’s more capacity for showing kindness. When that happens, we practice a wider kind of generosity that has the potential to lead an entire community into deeper faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control with one another and the world around us.

#100days50words

Paul Gauche is the Pastor of Life Transitions at Prince of Peace. His posts are part of his #100days50words project, where be blogs about a different word each day. You can follow his project on Instagram (@pgauche), or on his blog, Thriving Rhythms.

 

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