Scripture Reading: Proverbs 2 Corinthians 9:7 (KJV)
Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.
We know, the most generous ‘person’ we have ever known in the whole universe is God who had given His one and only Son, Jesus to us knowing that, first, Jesus was going to die of a very horrible death and second, God did this in order to save us even though we have committed all kinds of sins.
We must always remind ourselves that besides sending His Son to die for our sins, God has created the earth that is capable of producing all kinds of foods for us to eat and we will never be lacking of food. But because of human sinful nature, we started to destroy the earth like burning the forest for planting instead of cutting down the trees by hands. Burning of forest not only destroyed the forest as this will also kill many animals. It will also pollute the air and people will get sick breathing polluted air. This is only one example. Another one is human is very inconsiderate. They just throw all kinds of rubbish and pollute the land and the sea. Many marine animals died because they ate these rubbish like plastic bags mistaken them as food.
Everyone now complaints we have not enough to eat and for those who can afford, may are unwilling to share all because we all have a sinful nature of being selfish.
We must not just limit giving to only tangible things like money or sharing food with others. It is of course very good if we can do these. But besides money and food, we can also share with others in the following ways:
1) Generosity starts with gratitude.
Be appreciative of things people give you or do something good to you, no matter how small. Always say thank you to people when they help you no matter how small and insignificant the help is.
2) Generosity doesn’t come naturally. Like a muscle you have to exercise and practice.
In other words, generosity is something you can learn and grow into – it just means you have to exercise that generosity ‘muscle’ a bit more each time. If we express that generosity often, it will then become a habit and God will be very pleased with us
3) Generosity can be creative. You can share the sadness with other, or comfort them when they are in distress.
When you see your friends sad, go and ask him or her politely like are you alright; anything thing troubling you; and so on. Your friends will appreciate this gesture even though he or she may not really want to share with you why he or she is sad because some of their problems are too personal to share. We must respect their wish. This is another form of generosity. Just by asking them “what is troubling you”, “can I help you”, etc, your friend knows someone really care for them. Caring of people is one of the most important personal attributes and we must develop this as part of our character building
Dear Lord Jesus,
Help me to develop my character and be more like you. Each day help me to say some good things to my friends, show concern and where appropriate share something with my friends like a simple joke or a riddle to make my friends happy.
Scripture Reading: Galatians 6:3-4 (KJV)
For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself. But let every man prove his own work, and then shall he have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another. [Galatians 6:3-4]
One of the bad habits that we always displayed is to say something to someone and they could be our friends, our own family members or even our teachers is that we like to form an opinion of how ‘smart’ or ‘good’ we are. In actual fact, they are so much things to learn in this world and even though one of the smartest persons the world has ever known like Albert Einstein is nothing compared to the knowledge of God. After all God created everything, including Albert Einstein. Thankfully, as I understood, Albert Einstein was a very humble man. Even up to now, he is still considered as one of the most intelligent men on earth the world has ever known. The others are Issac Newton who discovered the principles of gravity (and also many other mathematical principles like laws of motion) and Leonardo da Vinci who painted the world’s most famous painting Mona Lisa. As I understood, they were all very humble people. One can really learn from these people: the more intelligent and smart they are, the more humble they had become. And the reason is simple. They know that their knowledge when to compare God’s creation is like comparing the size of an ant to that of an elephant. Their knowledge is so tiny compare to God’s bounty knowledge.
On the other hand, they are many people (and at times we too are like them) and sad to say that they will boast as if they have knowledge as big as an ‘elephant’ when indeed they know so little compared to Albert Einstein, Issac Newton or Leonard da Vinci. Besides bragging about our knowledge, we are also inclined to brag about our personal quality and wish others should do or behave like us. In their heart, they often think: You should have done this way instead of that way. Remember what God said: As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my thoughts are higher than your thoughts and my ways are higher than your ways. (Isaiah 55:8-9).
The habit of thinking about ourselves better than others can cause a growing sense of self-importance and self-pride which God hates as we read Proverbs 21: 4 “The proud eyes and hearts of sinful people are like a field not plowed. Those things produce nothing.” Unfortunately, this occurs naturally in all of us because we are sinful people and it will take a lot efforts and practices to remove this habit. Jesus will be very pleased with us when we remove this habit of “proud eyes and hearts”.
The man of little knowledge thinks he knows everything. As the heavens declare the glory of God (Psalm 19:1), we thus can witness the wide knowledge of creation reveals the awful vastness of the unknown to man and interestingly to note that only very humble people realised it. Hence, what right have we to think much of ourselves when all we have comes from God – even our own natural abilities to think, to paint, to design are the gifts of God’s Providence.
We can conclude with one key word: Self-pride is self-deception. We are bluffing ourselves when we think we are good, clever, intelligent. Indeed we are nothing compared to great people like Albert Einstein, Issac Newton or Leonardo Di Vinci let alone compared with God! One of the dangerous and negative consequences of self-pride is it stifled our improvements because we thought we are so good and we thus refused to listen to others who often has a lot to teach us. Another consequence is that it can destroy the Christ-like grace of humility.
Dear Lord Jesus,
Teach me O Lord! Cleanse me of my haughty and pride eyes. Help me to remove these from me so that I can be more like You. I thank you Jesus for creating the earth, the stars, the planets, the plants and animals for our enjoyment. Even science has advanced to a very high level, no human, not even the greatest scientist is unable to create a tiny creature like an ant. Dear Lord, each day we wake up, help us to remember your Creation. Nothing can compare to Your wonderous work!
We love you O Mighty Lord!