Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Generosity is hard.

It is one thing to give to hypothetical poor kids.  It is another thing, entirely, to give to the people in your own house.

Please do not misunderstand- compassion for the poor is extremely important.  God's love compels us to help not only the people we know in need but also those far-away suffering people that seem more like statistics.  We must help, and we must teach our children to do the same.

But sometimes, I think a burst of goodwill towards a far-off person is less of a strain than the challenge of pouring goodwill on those inside one's own house.

I have in mind the child who will gladly donate his fire truck to the poor kid, but closes his fist in a confident air of entitlement when his brother asks for a piece of his cookie.

I also have in mind the wife who cheerfully cleans the entire house for her book club, but is wracked with deep feelings of injury when her husband leaves his boots in the living room.

I have in mind the reader of my blog who said this:
How to make kids be more generous and giving....I just can't think of anything suitable for your website.  I yell at my son and tell him to be more kind to his sister, that she would give things to him so he should be more like that.  TREAT YOUR SISTER WITH KINDNESS as I slam the door and stomp around all ticked off at how selfish my child is ...which he totally inherited from me, the queen of "how am I feeling??Are my needs being met??How do I feel about this?? Why doesn't everyone do what I want them to??  

Who am I to teach THEM how to be generous?
A sinner teaching sinners! The blind leading the blind!

His ways are not my ways, and my love is nothing like His love.

Fill me up with those things I do not have that my family needs.  Grant me a heart full of generosity, and hands willing to serve.  Teach me to work diligently and cheerfully in service to those around me, not keeping score, but overflowing in gratitude.  Fill me up, and fill them up, too.  Fix our eyes upon You, Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, and the giver of all our goodness.

Like I need ONE MORE THING to pick up!

(Read this post for more annoying truth about your own ridiculous claims of entitlement.)
( and stay tuned to hear about an exercise of sibling generosity that got out of control, as so many things do in this house...)

1 comment:

  1. Oh yes. I look at the clutter in the house and get all upset at the kids who don't clean up after themselves, only to walk into my bedroom and see the pile of clothes I have yet to put away myself. *sigh*


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