"Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, each of us is to exercise them accordingly:
if prophecy, according to the proportion of his faith;
if service, in his serving;
or he who teaches, in his teaching;
or he who exhorts, in his exhortations;
he who gives, with liberality;
he who leads, with diligence;
he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness."
- Romans 12:6-8 (NASB)
I used to love the word "liberality" in terms of generosity. It meant being willing to give freely, and this was GREAT! I loved that idea! However, I did not have the income to "give freely," so I would put pressure on myself to give out of my own ability. And if I didn't have the ability, I would work to create the ability.
And then I started writing Simple Generosity.
I began by looking up some of my favorite verses and peeling apart some of the words to better understand their meaning. I started by looking up the word "liberality" in my brand new concordance. It was interesting. And while I cannot spell or pronounce the Greek word, the definition of this word is "simplicity".
Not freely. Not willingly. Not joyfully. Not abundantly.
Before that moment I had understood how the boy with five loaves and two fish could willingly give Jesus his provision, but I didn't understand why the next verse didn't mention the ensuing panic attack, the fear-based prayers, or the stress that immediately came into the situation.
Suddenly, to give with simplicity, I didn't have to have everything figured out, and I didn't have to fully understand where my provision was going to come from. Instead of forcing myself into a place of being technically able to give anything, I could focus on having my heart in a position of being willing to give anything.
Giving. It's messy, and it's also really quite simple.