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A Time to Be Intentional

We who are strong have an obligation to bear with the failings of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, to build him up.

Romans 15:1-2
A Time to Be Intentional Book Cover

making a generous calendar

What does it look like to love one another and to build one another up for the good of the other person, and not ourselves? Many times, our own to-dos and day-to-day struggles make it hard to even hear how others are struggling. The only way to address this problem is to be intentional in doing good. Making a generous calendar full of ideas on how to bless others will help us anticipate and see other people’s needs.

planning it out

We all strive to be more Christlike in our day-to-day lives. A shift toward living a more generous lifestyle is a step toward creating a more loving unified community. The following are ways to build a generosity calendar that reminds you to do one generous thing a day.

schedule reminders

If you are more of a planner, pull out your calendar, or pull up your Google calendar, and write one action on every day. Set up reminders to alert you at convenient times. Stick a note to your alarm clock or bathroom mirror that simply says, “Give more.” Make generosity your first thought every morning.

If you thrive on spontaneity, or want to get the kids actively involved, write thirty generous tasks on separate pieces of scrap paper. Fold them and place them in a jar. For the next month pull out one a day with the commitment to doing what the paper says.

brainstorm generosity tasks

Here is where your creativity needs to take over. If you are doing this with children, a spouse, or a close friend, sit down and start brainstorming. You will need to come up with thirty generous actions. The goal isn’t to make them so big they are unachievable, but rather to train your brain to seek out opportunities every day to give more.

Start by looking around your house. Are there ways to give to the people you live with? Are there items in your house you do not need, but you know of someone who would benefit from receiving them? Do you have two copies of the same book? Who could you give the second one to?

Next think through the people you encounter every day. These could be coworkers, people you see on your commute, a neighbor, people you go to church with, a cashier, a postman, or a teacher. Find ways to bless their day anonymously. Leave notes on their desk or buy a box of donuts for the office. Do it quietly and without the need for a thank- you. Get creative.

After you’ve thought through those in your home and in your day-to-day life, start looking at the larger picture. What are the needs in your community? Is there a food bank nearby you could volunteer at? Why not buy dinner for a family you don’t know? Gift a fully punched loyalty card to someone you pass on the street.

In fact, you don’t have to add to-dos to your list in order to love on those around you. Help a stranger who drops something, offer a word of encouragement to someone you pass on the street, look for opportunities to lend a quick hand with a grocery bag or a door. When a friend asks for your time invite them to join you on your evening walk, at your yoga class, or to run errands for the day. You can be a listening ear and a support by simply inviting them along.

It doesn’t have to be big to make a difference. The most generous gift we can give is our time.

learn to be present

Christ did not call us to give to others so we could feel better about ourselves. We were each called to offer our strengths. It is our calling to build up our neighbors out of love with no alternative motives. Compassion should drive us as we do life together through difficult and joyous times. Love like Jesus did. Give unconditionally and watch the world around you transform.

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Being Generous With Your Time

Daily Question

Meditate on Romans 15:1-2. What were the reasons you have been generous with others in the past? Be honest with yourself. Ask God to help give you a heart of compassion, eager to give in order to build the other person up.

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