March 23 - A Generous Heart


By Sylvia Stewart

Today's Scripture: Proverbs 11: 24-26.

Central Thought: I need not be rich to be large-hearted.

    Jesus pointed out to His disciples the generosity of a woman who put only two small coins in the temple treasury box. He said she gave more than the wealthy because she 'out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on” (Mark 12: 44).

    An open-hearted and generous spirit does not result from great wealth. The poor often share more generously than the wealthy. When I sent cookies on a plate to an African friend, the plate was always returned full. Perhaps it was filled with beans or popcorn or carefully winnowed rice, but the plate never came back empty.

    Generosity doesn't depend on how much we have, but on the condition of the heart and a willingness to share. Even if we have nothing else to give, we can give generously of things that cost us nothing:

Smile. A store clerk once said to a customer, 'Thank you for your lovely smile.” What kind of depressing day must he have had to be delighted with a simple, heart-felt smile? Does my face express the presence and generosity of God in my heart?

    Thanks. A medical doctor in Europe developed the 'thank you” cure for depressed patients. Once a day, they were to say 'thank you” aloud. He also required them to journal their gratitude to God and others (from a sermon in November 2003). Gratitude develops an attitude of cheerfulness in a giver. When I am thankful for the commodities I have, I may be more willing to generously share them.

Devotional Prayer: Lord, help me to develop the same generous heart that You have. Let me give as freely and open-heartedly as You gave.

Today's Bible Reading: Numbers 36:1-Deuteronomy 1:46; Luke 5:29-6:11; Psalm 66:1-20; Proverbs 11:24-26.