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The Exercise of Giving

Generosity Takes Training and Discipline

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By:
Ed Fontaine

I knew that I had to start exercising again. I was tired of being tired. And yet, I resisted joining the gym. Why? Fear. The fear I would get hurt, fear I would look foolish, fear I would fail. My son convinced me to try a CrossFit gym a couple of times and see if I liked it. So I took the step and signed up. 

 

I almost quit my first class. Everyone knew the routines, the lifts, the weights they needed but I was lost. This was going to be my first and final class. The instructor came to me and said that starting a new exercise routine was hard but you had to persevere and I was doing a great job for my first time. Hope. Then, as the more experienced participants finished up the routine, instead of putting away their weights, they cheered for those of us that were still trying to finish. More hope. By the end of the class, all thoughts of quitting were gone. I was coming back.

 

Soon, I was able to easily go through the routines. That’s when the instructor said to me, “Ed, you need to challenge yourself if you want to grow stronger and feel better. Increase the weight on the bar. ” I increased the weight and I grew stronger and felt better. I’m amazed how often principles of physical exercise mirror principles of spiritual exercise. It’s no secret that God commands each of us to give…generously. 

But the only way to start is to show up. No amount of considering it, researching it, watching it will ever get you in better shape. You just have to jump in and start doing it.

But starting to give or increasing our giving can fill us with fear. What will I do if an emergency comes up? What about the trips I planned, the house I’m saving for or the education for my kids? What about retirement? Fear often stops us from starting good things. 

 

Starting to give financially is as intimidating as beginning a new exercise class when you have never done one before. But the only way to start is to show up. No amount of considering it, researching it, watching it will ever get you in better shape. You just have to jump in and start doing it. It’s that way with giving. You can think about it, research it, and listen to what others say. But in the end, none of that will help you grow spiritually; you just have to jump in and start doing it. God promises that if you trust him by giving, he will take care of your needs.

 

However, you may have been giving for some time. Have you considered that if you want to grow in maturity and strength in your faith, you will have to increase the amounts? Perhaps you’ve been at your current weight long enough and it is time to add some weight! More “weight” means more dependency and trust in God to provide and work. 

 

Regular, consistent, and increased giving is a spiritual exercise that produces growth and maturity. It breaks money’s hold on our hearts; it creates in us a generous spirit, and it joins us with the heart of Jesus for others. Are you tired of feeling tired of your current spiritual state?If so, then it is time to start or increase your giving.

Meet the author

Ed Fontaine
Ed and his wife Crystal have served in pastoral ministry for more than 30 years. They love spending time with their 4 grandchildren, 3 sons and 2 daughters in law. When not busy with family, they enjoy working out with one another and friends.

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