If one member suffers, all suffer together with it; if one member is honored, all rejoice together with it.
[Adapted from Choose Generosity: Discovering Whole-Life Stewardship, Herald House, pp. 40–41]
As we share God’s grace and love through service to others, we learn that God’s blessings are limitless—the more we give away, the more blessings are returned. When we extend our lives in service to others, we learn that we receive even as we are giving. Giving and receiving integrate in a cycle where one prompts the other.
This cycle of giving and receiving should not be confused with what is known as the prosperity gospel or prosperity theology. The prosperity gospel is a belief that God rewards faithfulness and financial generosity through improved health and increased wealth.
We receive God’s gifts that we understand flow freely. We do not earn God’s gifts through our faithful works. As disciples, we then are called to share God’s gifts with others. Our giving blesses us and creates new relationships that offer more opportunities to share. And the cycle continues.
This ongoing cycle keeps us connected to God and one another, Through these connections, we discover that God gifts each one—and the whole community—with grace and love. So individually and collectively we receive God’s blessings, and we, in turn, bless others. When we respond together, we give shape and form to God’s vision of shalom through faithful and generous living.
“…he will have compassion according to the abundance of his steadfast love” (Lamentations 3:32).
Breathing God’s Compassion
Light a candle and sit quietly, reflecting on the fire and light of God. Pay attention to your breathing and let it become calmer and deeper as you focus on God’s presence. Ask God to breathe in you. Image each breath carrying the light of God into your lungs, bloodstream, and every cell in your body until God’s Spirit fills you. Now imagine breathing out God’s compassion and grace each time you exhale. Pray to have the Spirit of Christ radiate from your life like the gentle flame of a candle.
Today’s Prayer for Peace
Engage in a daily practice of praying for peace in our world. Click here to read today’s prayer and be part of this practice of peace.