Painting with Broken Brushes

It seems that there are varying degrees of generosity, including generosity out of abundance, generosity out of scarcity, generosity when noticed, and generosity when unnoticed. All of these degrees are noble, commendable, and good. Being noticeably generous out of our abundance is not necessarily less significant than being secretly generous out of our scarcity.

What marks the difference between self-sacrificial generosity and self-serving generosity is our intent. It comes down to motivation. It’s a matter of will. Namely, it’s a choice between pride and humility.

Sometimes we give from a place of pride. We want to check the box on our “good Catholic” list. Or we want others to see that we’re charitable, that we’re detached, that we’re holy. Or we’re so distracted by other things that our giving is merely transactional and on autopilot because “this is just what we do.” In these instances, our hands are open but our hearts are empty. We try to paint a picture with a broken brush. When pride is the root of our sacrifice, the fruit isn’t as sweet.

In today’s Gospel, Jesus calls us to practice sacrifice and generosity from a place of humility. When we give with a humbled heart—whether it’s from a place of abundance or scarcity, whether it’s seen or unnoticed—we acknowledge our complete dependence on God. We recognize that everything we are and everything we have is from the Lord. With this intent of heart, our paint brushes are whole and capable of creating a masterpiece with and for God. When the giving requires something great from us, when it’s difficult or inconvenient or uncomfortable, it is a practice in detachment from our talent, treasure, and time. We remember that our ultimate goal in this life is to be less attached to the opinion of others and more attached to the Heart of God.

Sisters, let’s not be afraid to be generous with God. Every quiet act of generosity, every hidden way we serve those around us, and every overlooked way we sacrifice ourselves for the sake of the Kingdom is heard, seen, and noticed by our Father. Let’s not be afraid to be generous with Him. Let’s approach His throne with humble and willing hearts.

How is God asking you to be generous today? Where can you give of yourself in a spirit of humility and trust?

Olivia Spears lives in Kentucky where sweet tea and bourbon flow like milk and honey. She is the Blog Manager for Blessed is She and works from home as an editor and social media manager. She likes to binge novels and Netflix while raising her children and laughing with her husband. You can find out more about her here.

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