Have you ever played the game "I've never"? It's a fun game to play at camp, at youth group meetings, or when a bunch of friends just get together. Here's how it's played: Someone makes a statement beginning with the words "I've never." Anyone who has done or experienced what the speaker says must stand. Then someone else makes another "I've never" statement, and the others must admit whether they've done such a thing by standing or sitting. The game ends when only one person is left sitting (or when everyone in the room turns eighty, whichever comes first).
How about playing a quick version of "I've never" right now? See if you could truthfully make any of the statements below:
"I've never given my parents a Mother's Day or Father's Day gift."
"I've never put any of my own money in a Salvation Army Christmas kettle."
"I've never shared my favorite toys with other kids."
"I've never bought something to share with someone else."
"I've never volunteered my time to help a person or group."
"I've never offered a favorite article of clothing to a friend."
"I've never given a gift without expecting to get a gift in return."
"I've never surprised anyone with a sincere compliment."
"I've never visited anyone in a nursing home."
"I've never put my own money in the offering plate at church."
How many are true? Four? Five? Nine? Ten? In case you haven't noticed, all the "I've never" statements were about generosity. If all ten are true, you really need to work on showing generosity to others. If only one or two are true, you deserve a halo.
Maybe those things don't seem like a big deal to you. After all, a lot of people probably go through their whole lives without ever giving away clothes or tossing money into a Salvation Army kettle. But that doesn't mean generosity isn't important. It is. That's why God commanded it.
God says, "Give freely without begrudging it... share your resources freely with the poor and with [others] in need" (Deuteronomy 15:10-11). He commands us to be generous, not only because it helps others, but also because it's the right thing to do.
REFLECT: Are you usually generous with: money, time, possessions, toys, attention, or kind words? Can you be more generous in any of those areas?
ACT: Pick one of the "I've never" statements that you checked, and do it this week!
PRAY: "God, I need your help being generous with..."