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A Generous Outlook
By Mike Stickler
John 3:16-18 For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him. Whoever believes in Him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.
This perhaps is the most recited verse in the world. Who hasn’t sighted ‘John 3:16’ at a sporting event, painted on rocks along the side of a road, or on a bumper sticker. We all know the verse well: “For God so loved the world…” But,' if you read these verses in their proper context, you also know that those who do not believe in Him first, stand condemned. ‘Those’ were all of us. Fact is‒each of us, who hasn’t accepted God’s outrageously gracious gift of salvation, stands condemned before a just God. We all know this, right? So,
- Why are we so astounded when the majority of the world acts ungraciously? ... offensively? ... rudely? ... in their own self-interest?
- Why are we surprised that people don’t think through their worldview or commitments? ... or even to understand the principles of sacrificial love?
- Have we forgotten that we thought and acted exactly the same way before Christ renewed our minds?
When we are surprised or astonished at the world acting as it does, we isolate ourselves from the generous concept of ‘God so loved the world that He gave…’ What did He give? The most precious thing He had to give was His own dear sinless Son.
Next time you are tempted to make some snarky social media tweet about those so different from you; recall that God so loved the world that He gave His precious Son so that we may be saved through Him. Then we can adjust our attitude and give of ourselves genuinely to a lost and dying world.
Today’s Generosity Challenge:
Next time you are at the mall, in a public park, or enjoying community event, take a look through the crowds. Prayerfully identify the one individual who would challenge your attitude or sensibilities. Maybe it’s a biker ... maybe it’s a disabled person ... maybe it’s a teenager with pink and orange hair and tattoos ... maybe it’s a person with an obvious lifestyle that is different from yours. You’ll know. See if you can position yourself near them for an introduction, kind word. Respond to them with a generous act. It will do more for you than it will for them‒right? Or maybe your generosity might begin them on the road to Christ.
Now, write down what happened in the comments below.
About Michael Stickler
Mike is an author, radio host, and a highly sought after motivational speaker. His best-selling book, A Journey to Generosity, is widely acclaimed throughout the Christian community. He is the publisher of Generous Living Magazine and writes for the Christian Post, 'A Generous Life' column.