How Is Your Outflow?
“Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.”
2 Corinthians 9:7
Are you a giver? If Christ lives in you, you are, whether you realize it or not. Let me tell you a story about my older brother, Luke. He’s a very popular barber and he’s a giver. People flood his barbershop to get a great haircut. He takes his time, as if he’s an artist painting a picture everyone will see. People like Luke—a lot. He’s very likable.
But being an extremely talented barber isn’t Luke’s best feature. Luke’s best trait is he’s a “giver of his company.” What I mean by that is people will also flock to his home—not only the barbershop—just to hang out with him and his family. They have that old-school, busy house, food cooking, kids playing, chill, wholesome atmosphere.
Someone is always joking, the kids are chasing the dog, a video-game challenge is going on—something, at all times, is happening. And the backbone of this family is Luke and Paula’s giving. Giving of what? An open, welcoming home to anyone.
There’s something comforting about going to Luke and Paula’s house; being with them and the girls makes you feel like family, even if you’re not. They have four beautiful little girls, my nieces. Emma, Sophie, Bella, and Layla are always smiling, running around playing, hanging on you, asking for a bite of your food, and just being good kids.
Luke is a giver of his space—his home. He’s always taking someone in who doesn’t have a place to stay, or when everyone else rejects them, he’ll hang out with them. When people are having a hard time in life and just want a place to go and sit, to be around others for no particular reason, they go to Luke and Paula’s house.
Someone is always there, and Luke is always sitting right there with them, giving his company, time, home, and space. He gives. The Bible says, “God loves a cheerful giver” (see 2 Corinthians 9:7). What most people don’t understand is this does not have to be money.
Being a barber–and although his shop stays slammed and he does well–Luke isn’t rich. He also has a large family, so he must pay close attention to the amount of money he spends. He might not be able to fund an orphanage overseas, or financially support a new addition of a church—but he gives what he has. His home, his company, his family, his time.
This is what Luke gives. We all give differently. It could be your ear, your FaceTime, your phone call, or simply your presence. Giving is handing over your time, your energy, your talents, your resources, and your prayers. We even give forgiveness, gratitude, honor, commitment, and love.
When we give, we can tell we’re doing it properly because there’s a steady outflow from our lives into others’. In Israel, there’s a place called the Dead Sea. It’s a giant salty lake that has no life in it; no fish or creatures whatsoever. As a matter of fact, the Dead Sea is ten times saltier than the ocean. Why is this? Because it has no outflow. It constantly takes water in, yet none ever goes out. It doesn’t give anything back, so it’s dead.
Every once in a while we need a check-up on our giving. I’m not saying be legalistic or measure our dispensing. But I am saying we should ask ourselves some healthy, humbling questions, and then pray about it:
“How is my outflow? Am I taking so much in that I’ve become salty in my actions and attitudes? So salty, there’s no life in the waters of my soul? What can I do to exude my true nature of being a giving person?”
Let’s not confuse our soul with our spirit. Our spirit is solid, perfect, and secure. It leads our soul. Our soul is the customizable part of our beings: our mind, free will, and emotions. Both are good in God’s view–all of us is good in God’s view–spirit, soul, and body.
What we do isn’t, but who we are is.
As children of God we are heaven-ready and generous. We just forget our identity during certain seasons of life. Thankfully, the Holy Spirit will always guide us back into living out our true selves! We are givers!
We are givers because God is a giver and He has made His home inside of us! (See John 3:16, 1 Corinthians 6:19). We don’t give to get, we give because we love! That’s why God gives!
Luke and his family love people. They are grace-showing, non-judgmental Christians and everyone is welcome in their home at all times. That’s outflow. That outflow creates life!
So today, my friends, know this: Your Creator is the Ultimate Giver, therefore so are you! He’s already inside of you once you place your faith in Jesus! He loves you so much that He gave you Jesus! Let’s all evaluate our giving today and ask God, “Will you show me how to give like you?” Make no mistake, He will!
A prayer for you: Heavenly Father, today I’m grateful for how giving you are to me. Thank you for Jesus, thank you for your Holy Spirit, thank you for my family, my home, my job, my sobriety, my ministry, the New Covenant, and my good health—just to name a few things! Thank you so much! Right now, I lift up all who are reading this, directly to you. For those who feel like they are not grateful to you, but they want to be, help them. Begin to reveal through your Holy Spirit, the blessings you’ve already given them. Teach them how to have a grateful and giving attitude. Teach them how to have a steady outflow of who they really are! They are your children, Dad, your children! They share the same giving heart as you! Let them know it and show it! Amen.
This devotional is from 60 Days for Jesus, Volume 2. Get your copy here!