Confessions of a Recovering Miser

Read: Mark 14:3-9

She has done what she could. (v. 8)

I write these devotionals not only for you but also for me. I am a recovering miser. My kids used to call me “El Cheapo.” Last Christmas, when I did something generous for my family, one of them said, “Who are you, and what have you done with my father?” From one recovering miser to another, here are some ideas on how to become more generous.

  • Read the prior devotion titled “What Is Money For?” and look for ways to use money to build relationships.
  • Get out of debt. Among the many problems with debt is this: it blocks generosity.
  • Look for joy. Joy and generosity are intimately joined together. Give where you experience joy.
  • Find money to give by substituting something. Take something out of your life—fast food or Netflix or Spotify—for a year and give that money away instead.
  • Do what you can. The woman who anointed Jesus is remembered in all four gospels. One sidelight of her story is that it shows you aren’t going to solve poverty or some other big issue through your giving. Don’t worry about that. Follow her example and give to Jesus extravagantly.
  • Choose a kingdom cause and do what you can.

—Jeff Munroe

As you pray, ask God, the giver of all good gifts, to give you a joyful spirit of generosity.

About the Author

Jeff Munroe is the editor of the Reformed Journal and, in addition to being the author of the best-selling book Reading Buechner: Exploring the Work of a Master Memoirist, Novelist, Theologian, and Preacher, is also a poet, blogger, and essayist. His work has appeared in Christianity Today, The Christian Century, US Catholic, and The Reformed Journal.

This entry is part 15 of 15 in the series Living Generously