What’s Gripping You?
Have you ever been gripped by something? I’m not a huge movie guy, but Denver sports: that’s my kryptonite. Seemingly the last time the Broncos played meaningful football was a few years back at Super Bowl 50. I remember those moments as that defensive battle wore on. I became more and more gripped by the tension, pleading with the Broncos offense (through the TV mind you) for just one more first down. They had me standing in the living room, inches away from the TV. One more first down and you win this thing!
And it gets me thinking about what grips us in this world. What has a hold of you in your life?
For a lot of us, it is the material possessions of this world. “If I just had the bigger house, I would finally be happy,” says the guy with a house most people would die for. “If I just got a newer car, all my cares would be gone,” she might say. “My shoe collection is lacking - just one more pair and it will be complete,” he says.
“I want more,” he complains. “I need more,” she says. “I deserve more, ” our culture demands.
But how do we combat this? What do we do to allow the grip of this world to be released from us? The antidote, as counterintuitive as it might sound, is to be generous.
When we’re generous, our lens shifts from us, to others. It’s no longer all about me, and my perceived lack or misfortunes. It’s about how I can help others, using a tool that is very close to our hearts - our finances. So what about you? How can you allow the grip to loosen?
Take a step. Take a small step. Take any step, but take a step. If you haven’t given anything before, start with a small, one-time financial gift. Begin exercising that muscle of generosity.
Maybe you’ve given occasionally. How about giving money on a regular basis? The easiest way to do this is to set up a recurring gift - a financial gift that is part of your monthly budget. This is like beginning a normal workout routine.
If you feel like you’re a pretty regular contributor, what about adding some more weight to the barbell? Think about making a step to giving an increasing percentage of your income.
And finally, if you’re in a rhythm of generosity, think about pushing through and giving an extra set of reps. This might look different for everyone, but how cool would it be to be able to contribute to a timely need that presents itself as we’re moving along in life?
Coming from a scrawny guy like me, I know the weight lifting analogy is highly ironic. But I know that as I’ve exercised the muscles of generosity in my own life, the grip of this world has less and less control on me and my family. And I want the same for you and your family too.