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Make your legacy one of generosity
Stephen Ministry
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Last week, I wrote about New Year’s resolutions, filling the void within and changing lives for the better. From many years of counseling on many topics, I know about relationship and self-esteem issues.
It’s true that virtually all of us have a deep-rooted desire to self-improve, be accepted, gain self and others’ respect and manage our lives better. We want to make the right decisions with our families, co-workers and friends to leave a positive legacy and make our existence worthy.
In the existentialist song “Is That All There Is?” by Peggy Lee, the lyrics are written from the point of view of a person who is disillusioned with life events that could be everyday or sometimes unique experiences. One of the differences of this song to many of us is the inner longing we have to set ourselves free from negativity and the “if I could do things over again, I would change this or that” echoing in our heads. Well, cheer up folks — a positive future stands before us.
Paul spoke to the Corinthians about giving generously to others in need. He linked generosity with spiritual benefits to them: the more someone gives, the more one benefits. However, this principle goes way beyond financial giving. At work, for example, you may donate to a local charity and think “That was great because now I won’t be asked again, and I can do a good deed and not have to get involved.” But when a co-worker asks for some of your time to talk about a problem, what is your response? Do you give your attention generously or begrudgingly? When your boss gives you an assignment, do you give your very best to do it right or just “get by to get it over with?”
What about your time and emotional energy after hours? When your spouse or children need you, do you generously make yourself available, or is there friction because of personal needs?
In 2 Corinthians 9:6-8, we know that we are constant recipients of God’s generous grace. He promises that if we will give of ourselves, He’ll enable us to have resources for the work for which we are called.
Where our family, friends and co-workers are concerned, we all have “coulda-shoulda” thoughts. We know that God’s word gives us advice about so many things, including relationships, responsibility, confidence, listening, speaking, generosity and conscience. But He also gives us the extraordinary gift of free will, which allows us to learn, discover and grow in confidence. He knows that when we go through trials and tribulations, we always can seek Him out for answers, love and support. Next week, we will go over some specific ideas we can turn into actions to better our daily lives and the lives of those around us.
 There are thousands of questions — and many times, no easy answers — about the stresses of everyday life, getting caught up in time constraints and responsibilities. The thoughts about leaving a positive legacy can seem more like climbing a mountain instead of a mole hill. If you could use a caring friend who is gender-sensitive, a good listener and can share some of life’s experiences with you to help you to feel stronger about your growth, contact a Stephen Minister at 912-320-7840 for a confidential appointment. We’re trained to help with faith-based principles to walk with you through problematic times.
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Scherer is a crisis intervention minister and the leader of the local Stephen Ministry.

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