I would challenge us all that generosity is an act of selflessness whether or not it is being generous with our money, time or love. When we think of the word generosity, most of the time the first thing we think about is being generous with our money. Which is true that we are being generous when we give financially, but we are also choosing to be selfless by giving to someone or a vision that is outside of ourself. By giving financially we are investing in something outside of ourself and are leaving behind a legacy.
But what about when we choose to give our time? We all know there are only 24 hours in a day and every one of them can be filled. When we choose to stop to listen, spend time with someone, or serve in a capacity to help others we are giving what valuable time we have. This too is a selfless act of generosity that leaves a legacy!
When I think about being generous with our love though, I think about the 5 love languages and how someone gives or receives love. I find it interesting to know that two of those five love languages are given through the generosity of our Time or Gifts. I don't know about you, but every time someone is generous to me with their money, time or love it always makes me feel loved. But that feeling is even greater in myself when I give of my money, time or love to others! I think this is the very reason why God teaches us that it is greater to give than it is to receive. Because each time we choose to be generous we become closer to our heavenly father by giving the love He gave to us first, to others. The selfless act of generosity leaves a legacy of God's love!
I pray you experience God's generous love today!
Choose to Understand...
Choosing to listen to others and understand what they are saying from their perspective is an act of selfless love. It is choosing to listen without rebuttal or defense first to understand why the other person feels and thinks what they are thinking. When we love someone enough to put ourselves and our feelings aside to begin with; and choose instead to try and understand what the other person is saying; it shows them that we care about them more than ourselves and want to make it better. It doesn't say the other person is right and you are wrong. It says I hear you and I want to understand why you are upset. It says I want to make this right because I love you!
Most couples are not taught this skill and have to learn it. It is hard at the beginning to lay aside our defense mechanisms, and cycles of communication that may be unhealthy. It's hard to think about others before we think about how we feel and why we are hurting in the moment. But when each person tries to show the other person the love they need for themselves first, a new love is birthed between couples that allows for healing to begin.
Feeling heard by your spouse makes you know that you are not alone and you are loved. By choosing to understand what our spouse feels from THEIR perspective helps us to love THEM even more, because we choose to see them! It is a selfless act of love and a choice to do so. It is not based on feelings or selfishness. It is based on loving others as ourself and treating them first the way we need to be treated.
Have you ever heard God's voice tell you to do something you didn't understand? Not knowing can create a lot of anxiety if we don't understand and truly believe God has our best interests at heart and knows the path. Sometimes we can't see because God wants us to learn to trust Him knowing that we can't do ANYTHING apart from Him.
When God tells me to do something I don't understand, I often think of it like walking across stones stretched across water. In those moments of anxiety and fear to me it feels like the water is raging and can knock me off the rock I stand on at any moment. When I focus on the unknown I feel like I am alone, wet and cold with no one to save me and lead me to the other side.
BUT THEN I REMEMBER, that God holds the flashlight that is lighting the stone I stand on, and even when it feels like I am alone, I am not! I remember God is not only lighting the stone I am currently on, but the next stone I need to step onto to get safely to the other side. I remember God is going to protect me from danger! I remember God has provided for me before, and He will continue to give me what I need to make it to the other side safely.
I often think about that river until my eyes are set on Jesus and I experience His peace. There is where my fears disappear and the image turns into a peaceful stream with the sun shining on my face, while I sit in the palm of His hand as we cross the stream together. It is then I realize, that I have been there with Him all along and it was only my fears that made me picture the dark, wet and alone path that I thought I was standing on. It is here that I remember I am A CHILD OF GOD and His ways are better than my own, and that I can trust Him.
Knowing this gives me strength to say YES to whatever He is asking me to do!
What does a Codependent relationship look like? For starters, being in a codependent relationship is more common than you may realize. So don't feel alone if you identify with being codependent yourself.
First why does God talk so much about fearing man and what the world thinks in the Bible? The reason is because God has created each of us in HIS image and HE wants us to focus on what God thinks about us and not what others do!
When we are in a codependent relationship we will in most cases change what we think, look like, believe, care about, etc in order to gain the approval of the person we want to love us. Believing that if we only change ourselves to be what they desire that their desire will be for us and no one else. We look for others to fill the need to be loved that only God can fill!
The sad thing is that when we loose sight of who we are, what we like, believe or even want for ourselves, we have to take time to figure it out again. And unless we fight for it we will continue to live in the cycle we live in. We have to recognize that we no longer have to fear what others may think and no longer fear we will fail others. We have to believe that we can change because God designed us and He loves us and accepts us for who HE has made us! We are Loved... Cherished... & Accepted...
When we base our lives off of the approval of others, or the fear of failing we are always going to be let down. We will always get to a breaking point where we can no longer go on being unseen. The problem is, when this happens we blame the very people that love us the most and believe that they are the problem, when it is us all along.
What I mean is this, no one can make us someone else unless we let them! We have to understand that we are not responsible for others thoughts, feelings, decisions, desires, etc and we must choose not to step in and take responsibility for things that are not ours to carry.
We have to learn to love ourselves again, and then love others where they are to help instill hope in them that they too can find happiness in the person God has designed them to be. When we learn the desires, passions, gifts and talents that God has created in us to be HIS hands and feet with, we start to become the person we always wanted to be!
There are many steps to take to gain the freedom from codependency that we desire. The first should be asking God how HE sees us and starting to believe that about ourselves, and not what others think of us. Remember you have the power to change, you just have to choose to listen to the right messages about yourself!
Is this you?
.Do you want to know God more? Do you want someone to help you do so? Do you want someone to walk alongside you who has been in your shoes? Do you feel alone? Do you want to experience the healthier and happier you?