Compare two givers. The first one thinks, “I hope you understand how much it cost me to get this.” The other thinks, “This isn’t much but it’s all I had and thought you’d really like it.” Who would you rather receive a gift from? Why? Which giver are you most like? To be generous doesn’t mean to give the coolest gift or throw the biggest party. Generosity starts in your heart and is reflected not in the size of your gift but in the “why” behind it.
GENEROSITY: Joyfully sharing what God has given you.
MEMORY VERSE: “The generous will prosper; those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed.” PROVERBS 11:25 (NLT)
This Week’s Finish Line: Giving Generously Isn’t About How Much You Give, It’s About Your Heart
Jesus calls us to be generous to those around us but He also knows that our human nature wants to be praised and applauded for the good things we do. When He taught about giving in Matthew 6, Jesus reminded the people that instead of telling everyone how amazing they were when they gave, they should give in secret not expecting anything in return. In Mark 12, Jesus pointed out one poor widow to His disciples as an example of true generosity. She didn’t have much but she gave everything she had because of her faith in the Lord.
- Why did Jesus commend the widow in Mark 12:41-44 even though her gift was so much smaller than everyone else’s?
- What is one way you can practice being generous with a willing heart over this holiday season?
- What are some fun ways you and your family have been able to share joyfully with others?
Bring it Home Conversations & Activities:
* Check out our vision for parents and how to use these activities each week.
Teacher: Meal Time
Read: Matthew 6:1-4 Discuss: What two different kinds of people did Jesus describe? Do you like to get noticed when you do something good? If you say the memory verse, do your chores, or are extra nice to someone, do you expect to get something in return like a prize or praise? Encourage: That’s human nature, but we can fight against it with God’s help! Challenge: How can you practice “giving in secret” this week – doing something to honor God and serve your family or a friend without seeking the praise for it?
Friend: Drive Time
When you’re at a stoplight, see how many times you can say the memory verse (Proverbs 11:25) before the light turns green! Some ideas: Say the verse together as many times as possible. If there are two people in the car, switch back and forth saying the verse individually. Multiple people? Have each person recite the verse and see if you can get through every person in the car before the light changes!
Pray together thanking God for caring more about your heart than what you give. Ask Him to help you be generous without expecting anything in return, including praise and respect. Thank Him for the people who have shared joyfully with you.
Take some time reading back through the items on your family’s Thankfulness Calendar. In what ways did reflecting on what God has given you increase your willingness to joyfully share with others? Did this activity help you cultivate a thankful heart for all the ways, no matter how seemingly big or small, God has generously given to you? How can you continue this practice as family?
Thank God for caring more about your heart than what you give. Ask Him to help you be generous without expecting anything in return, including praise and respect. Thank Him for the people who have shared joyfully with you.
Next week we will kick off the end of November and beginning of December with our new character trait, Purpose!
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