In this three-part blog series, we will look at living with intentionality. The content is derived from talking points from a “Spiritual Time-Out” for the leaders at Southwestern Advantage.
The legacy we leave behind is determined by those we impact. At present, we are all in the process of building our life’s legacy. This legacy will be our leave-behind when our life concludes. In other words, we should be intentional in how we live, so as to leave a lasting influence to those we love.
Part 1: I will intentionally give what I have
So, besides being the go-to groceries of choice during snow storms – what do eggs, bread, and milk have in common? The commonality is they all have an expiration date. To live a life that will endure past our personal expiration date, these three things will help:
A. Give generously with what you have
Your “haves” in this case are all the things you can give away. This goes beyond your money. It can include your time, gifts and talents, resources, and love. This is a decision each of us needs to make that turns not into a preference, but rather, a practice.
You must each decide in your heart how much to give. And don’t give reluctantly or in response to pressure. “For God loves a person who gives cheerfully.”
– 2 Corinthians 9:7
A friend of mine, Richard, fixes cars for single moms. Brian is always giving away food or firewood. Another friend mowed the yards of widows for free. You see, being generous with what you have is done out of love and with pure intentions. This is typically done with the expectancy of nothing in return. You give what you have for the sake of loving and serving others. This is living with intentionality. This is living by example for others to see. The example was the one set by Christ.
B. Quality over quantity
This is best exemplified in a parable about the widow’s offering in Mark 12:41-44. Jesus watched many rich people put in large amounts of money in the Temple collection box. A
poor widow dropped in only two coins. Jesus told the disciples the how the widow gave way more than the others because she gave all she had, while they only gave a tiny part of their amassed fortunes.
Jesus sat down near the collection box in the Temple and watched as the crowds dropped in their money. Many rich people put n large amounts. Then a poor widow came and dropped in two small coins. Jesus called his disciples to him and said, “I tell you the truth, this poor widow has given more than all the others who are making contributions. For they gave a tiny part of their surplus, but she, as poor as she is, has given everything she had to live on.”
– Mark 12:41-44
The quality of what we give is determined by the the intentions of our heart. The widow’s legacy lives on through Jesus’ story to show us how we can be treasured without having the most treasure.
C. Remain vital and green
Psalm 92 says the godly will flourish, and in old age will produce fruit and remain vital and green. Any one who passes their influence and wisdom past their last breath in life to others will no doubt have lived a life of vitality and growth. They will not be a tree that bears no fruit, nor will they be a dried up branch that withers and is thrown into the fire pit.
It stands to reason, anyone who remains vital and green in all seasons of life will live with intentionality and generosity with the fruit their life produces. They have a bountiful harvest and are willing to share it with others to increase their yield.
Who are some people you know who have been vital and green and left a lasting legacy?
But the godly will flourish like palm trees and the cedars of Lebanon. For they are transplanted to the Lord’s own house. They flourish in the courts of our God. Even in old age they will still produce fruit; they will remain vital and green.
– Psalm 92:12-14
If you will be intentional about what you have to give, you will actually leave more than you ever thought you could.