Giving Generously of Yourself

The most generous thing we can do is to share ourselves - not just our best ideas and shined up faces but our whole selves. The successes and failures, the experiences and the escapades, the every days and the exciting dreams are all a part of your story.

Welcome to day 14 of STAND OUT: 7 traits of a counter cultural life. You can find an index of every post in this series here.

Today we’re wrapping up our conversation about generosity in a counter cultural life. Our world is greedy. We know that, we see it every day. But I think it can be easy for us to miss the ways we are greedy, the areas of our lives where we are the hoarders. We can be very stingy with our resources like time and money. But hopefully, you’ve seen through the past two posts and the Scriptures we’ve looked at, generosity isn’t optional in the life of a believer.

I want us to consider another facet of generosity: giving generously of yourself.

The most generous thing we can do is to share ourselves - not just our best ideas and shined up faces but our whole selves. The successes and failures, the experiences and the escapades, the every days and the exciting dreams are all a part of your story.

It’s quite possible you’ve never considered this idea. I really hadn’t until recently.

If you follow me on Instagram, you know I’m a huge fan of the She Reads Truth studies. The current plan is in Philippians which is one of my favorite books. {I even wrote an eBook study** on this joy-filled epistle.} One day the focal passage was Philippians 3:1-11.  And these verses really jumped out at me:

If anyone else thinks he has reason for confidence in the flesh, I have more: circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; as to the law, a Pharisee; as to zeal, a persecutor of the church; as to righteousness under the law, blameless. But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ.  Philippians 3:4-7

You’re thinking, c’mon Teri Lynne, what do those verses have to do with generosity?  Stay with me.

Paul shared his story.

The most generous thing we can do is to share ourselves – not just our best ideas and shined up faces but our whole selves. The successes and failures, the experiences and the escapades, the every days and the exciting dreams are all a part of your story.

Your story is an invitation.

In this crazy world where all our pictures on social media are edited, filtered, and touched up to present our very best image, there is a desperate need for us to share our very real stories. A few months ago I wrote about being unremarkable. It was scary to be that vulnerable. But what I found was that many of you feel the same way … and when I was willing to be honest about where I was, it gave you permission to share your stories as well.  True community is found in our shared stories.

Your story is an opportunity.

My friend Stacey is one of the best storytellers I know.  Last year she unexpectedly lost her father and she has been very honest with her grief journey on her blog. In doing so, she has the opportunity both to come alongside others who are dealing with grief in various forms but she has also opened herself up to be supported and encouraged by others who have already walked this path of losing a parent. Certainly this is not the way Stacey would have chosen to write her story … but her willingness to share her journey has opened doors for connection and community.  Telling your story is an opportunity to both bless and be blessed.

 Your story, my story, is always about Jesus. He is the main character and when we tell our stories, we have the gift and responsibility of pointing toward Him. Telling your story is giving generously of yourself. And the world needs us to be generous in this way!

Your imperfect story is enough.

Paul’s story started with with holding the coats of the men who stoned Stephen. He was headed to Damascus to kill Christians when Jesus stopped him in his tracks. But he never shied away from the ugly parts of his story. In fact, he let those dark blots become the background for the light of God in him. We can do the same thing. Whether your story is divorce or addiction or abortion or failure or perfectionism or whatever else it may be — let that become the place where you can share most honestly and fully the extravagant grace you have received. Don’t let the enemy convince you not to tell your story or deceive you into making yourself the protagonist in your story. Your story, my story, is always about Jesus. He is the main character and when we tell our stories, we have the gift and responsibility of pointing toward Him. {Read Kristen’s post today for a beautiful illustration of this truth.}

Telling your story is giving generously of yourself. And the world needs us to be generous in this way!

xo,

Teri Lynne

What keeps you from telling your story, from being generous with yourself?

** This is an affiliate link. If you purchase through it, I may receive a small commission.

image source: CanstockPhoto.com

Leave a Reply

CommentLuv badge