I found myself praying the other day, “God, please heal my stingy heart.”
My petition caught me off guard. I thought to myself, “Stingy…where did that word come from?”
I don’t normally use the word 'stingy,' especially when speaking of my own heart. I’ve always considered myself rather generous, but the word spoken in my prayer did indeed hit the nail on the head that day. As I pondered my prayer, I remembered that I had been stingy with my time. That week I did not respond to an email asking for help babysitting for a family in need.
Definitely no wings growing out of my back or halo on my head.
The next day I read a passage in the Bible about our eyes being the lamp of our souls. The meaning of Jesus’ words was unclear to me. So, I decided to read the verse in a different translation. It did explain the scripture, but more importantly, I ran into the stingy word again. What I read knocked me off my kitchen chair.
Jesus said, “The lamp of the body is the eye. When you have a ‘good eye,’ (that is when you are generous,) your whole body is full of light; but when you have an ‘evil eye,’ (when you are stingy,) your body is full of darkness. So take care that your light is not darkness!” (Luke 11:34-35 CJB translation).
As I read those words, I remembered a darkness in my spirit the day I ignored the emails. And I also remembered feeling shiny when I had been generous with my time and gifts. I felt the light coming from within me. I had joy and a heart full of love.
Why had I become stingy? Well, I got tired. I got hurt, and I began listening to the wisdom of the world that teaches us to put our own needs first. But I have to tell you, I would rather be a little tired, a little taken advantage of, and in need of a manicure than experience a dark heart. I don’t want my light to be darkness! I want to be generous.
Some of you reading this today are shiny. People see you coming and immediately see the light exuding from your eyes. You give and give and give. I pray this encouraged you today if you’re getting a little tired of giving. Continue your generosity! For those of you who can relate to my stingy heart, I want to encourage you today to participate in the exponential factor of generosity. Bless (at least) one person today with the resources you have.
May we all practice the light of a generous spirit and light up our neighborhoods, workplaces, and schools. Let there be light!