We are well into the Thanksgiving season; a time of year that reminds us of the blessings we experience everyday, and a time to pause and be thankful for what we have. For Lacie Stevens, Thanksgiving is more than a time to give thanks – it’s a reminder to continue a lifestyle of generous giving. As part of the engagement team at Generous Giving, Lacie has discovered her passion for radical giving and obedience to God’s call.
4word: What does it mean to be a radical giver?
Lacie: To me, a radical giver is someone who holds everything that they have (their time, their talent and their treasure) with open hands. Radical givers believe that everything they have belongs to God and they are His stewards. They seek His leading in how to use what has been entrusted to them.
4word: What are some ways we can focus on others rather than ourselves?
Lacie: As we open our eyes, we can see unmet needs all around us. However, we need to know if God has equipped us to meet a particular need. If so, then we need to get into action where our gifting matches the need. You may not be able to solve world hunger, but you can bring a meal to your lonely neighbor. It is essential to be an “On-Purpose Woman”. When we give and serve in our purpose and according to our passion, we help others, and in return, it brings us life and energy.
4word: What is the first step in becoming a radical giver?
Lacie: It starts with a heart change. We must truly believe that all we are and all we have belongs to God. We are not owners. We are stewards. When we know for sure that God owns everything, we realize that He does not need anything from us. Yet He allows us to co-labor with Him. We GET to give! We get to be a part of the miracles produced by life-changing generosity!
4word: What is the biggest misunderstanding regarding generosity?
Lacie: It is simply wrong to think that we need to have a lot of material resources in order to be generous. You can be generous with your spirit by thinking the best of others; you can be generous with your words by speaking kind thoughts out loud. You can even be generous in traffic by allowing that car into your lane. Even if giving is free, it is still fun!!
4word: Can you share about your journey in becoming a generous giver? What has that looked like for you?
Lacie: I was the child of divorced parents with wildly different ideas about money. Twenty-three years as a financial advisor taught me to keep and grow wealth, not give it away. But my divorce left me with a small amount of cash, virtually nothing else, and two sons to raise. As I started to rebuild my life, a friend invited me to a retreat put on by Generous Giving. My prior head knowledge that “God owns it all” became heart knowledge on that retreat, and that transformation rocked my world. I would love to say that this transformation made me instantly obedient to all that God has called me to give. It did not. I have wrestled with God when He called me to make a substantial gift to the expansion of the children’s ministry at church. I debated Him when He asked me to leave a $1,000.00 tip to a single dad who was our server at a local sports bar. Ultimately, I was obedient to both calls. God continues to help me grow in this area, and I love to give. I hope that as I grow, I will be able to report that I am, indeed, instantly obedient. But on every step of the journey, I am overflowing with joy as I give.
In 2012, my co-author and I launched a modern-day translation of God Calling, the best-selling Christian devotional ever sold. The first 51% of the profits have already been committed to Kingdom work. We are looking forward to the day when we will give away at least 90% of the profits. God’s abundant gifts to us can raise our standard of giving rather than our standard of living.
4word: What is the one thing about giving that you want our readers to take away from this article?
Lacie: God’s economy makes no sense. We cannot outgive God. My giving fills me with overwhelming joy, peace and freedom. It really is more blessed to give than to receive. The life of generosity is a journey and a grand adventure. So go have fun and give!
When it comes to giving, where is your heart? Are you willing to let God change you into a more generous giver? Visit the Generous Giving website for resources and more information.