“With God, there is never a disadvantage to being generous. Though generosity may not make sense logically, it makes sense theo-logically, because I know from experience and as Scripture tells us over and over again, God is faithful.”- Ken Shigematsu
“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves.”- Philippians 2:3 (NIV)
In Chapter 7 (“Simple Abundance: Why Less is More”) of Survival Guide for the Soul, Ken Shigematsu takes note of what happens when we choose to pursue material happiness through acquiring material possessions. We wind up chronically discontent and unhappy. However, pursuing a simpler life and growing in our dependence on God nurtures something deeper and more enduring. A sense of well-being, peace, and joy.
Hence, Ken describes how to walk in the footsteps of Jesus:
“One of the ways we can follow the path of Christ’s dependence on God is to cultivate daily rhythms, such as meditation and practicing gratitude, soo that we can experience deep contentment. joy, and confidence in our every day life with God. Another way we can follow Christ . . . and [foster] a greater dependence on God is by decumulating. . . . By decumulating we follow Jesus on the path of humility.”
Certainly, Ken stresses, our most enduring happiness comes from what we give away – offering ourselves and what we have to bless others. Not from what we gain. But, when we choose to live simply and give generously, people may question our wisdom, our prudence. However, Ken counsels:
“When we trust and experience God’s loving faithfulness to provide exactly what we need, at exactly the right moment, time and time again, our lives will be marked by an abiding peace, gratitude, and joyful contentment in God.”
Therefore, Ken exhorts, devote your time, talent, and treasure to something bigger than yourself. Indeed, that produces a happiness that endures.
Today’s question: Do you ever feel that there’s a disadvantage to being generous? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: “Grace of humility – discipline of service”