This thought has come to me at times over the past year and it came to my attention through a devotional today again. I have always been a rewarder to myself, as most of you may know from following my posts here. However, I think it means more than just spending money. It can mean giving yourself a few minutes of time to just sit and listen to life going on around you. For you, that might feel strange and extravagant. Or it might mean a bit of an extravagant purchase. It might be a vacation, or not spending money for yourself with something you need or want. My point is, many things can feel extravagant to use, when in reality, it may be something we really need to do. Let me explain this thought.
I have always felt that if I am helping others, I am ultimately serving God. He has been gracious and faithful to me so how could I not return that to others? We all know that we are to be frugal with our resources, but there are times that God is so extravagant to me and to you, that we should want to share with others; not only because of His goodness to us, but to be “love in action” in other places God is working and wants us to join Him. So… is it ok to be extravagant sometimes? The answer is a resounding yes!
We often say to ourselves that we will wait for that special item, get away, time for yourself, or we do without something that would helps us or bring us joy. Why? Because we think that is what we are supposed to do. We shouldn’t be wanting what we don’t have. I DO think we have to live within our means and be finacially wise. However, I also think that to set aside something for ourselves that we desire, is sometimes one way to remember how faithful God is to make it possible in the first place. If we keep always denying ourselves of some extravagance, then this kind of thinking can cause us to miss out blessings that God wants to give us. In our case at home, God has been extravagant with us, which means we have been able to share with others and bless them. We can enjoy something special because we have been givers, and that is the very reason God blesses us… so that, we can be a blessing to others where ever He calls us to bless. I love that. I am not talking about giving to get. I am talking about genuinely giving of ourselves, not just with money. I give much of my time to helping others because that is what calls us to do. Use what we have been given to help another along.
I have had struggles by the score in my years on earth with parenting young children as a single mom for a while, and car issues that I had to become a mechanic myself to keep going, and just in general making ends meet. To this day I have big challenges. I know the struggle. But I always rewarded myself in little ways that helped me stay the course and encouraged me forward. Don’t mistake this for worldly things all the time. That is the first thing that can comes to mind when we think of this word. But, I’m saying, it can be a variety of actions, or purchases, sharing something you have that you aren’t using, or just sitting with a cold ice tea or coffee on the deck like I did this morning to bring my office outside and listen to the birds singing while I worked. THAT is extravagant for me just as much as a purchase of a big item. You see, it is all in how we thinking.
What changed in my life because I allowed myself to be extravagant sometimes? I have been given beyond anything I could ask for. Much has been granted. I live in gratitude for all He has given me and never take it for granted; big and little things. I worked hard to be financially debit free, and we have lived that life for 23 plus years. I kept my eyes on the goals and my gaze upward. I slowly and deliberately climbed up to higher ground so I could better see the view from God’s perspective. I then have a better view point to see what He was trying to do in my life. He taught me well to do without as I went through that stage in life. He has rewarded me with His faithfulness. I believe that is because I had experience with Him enough by this time to know that He would see me through to the other side. I can see His direction for my future from higher ground. I can trust Him whether I am abounding or have less. I have plenty of times of less, but He guides me along the way and gives those things just to remind me He loves me and hears my prayers and desires.
I have had fun living under God’s umbrella of blessing. I don’t ever think I did any of it without His hand over it all. It is when extravagance for the purpose of how we look, or just to own “stuff”, or try to out do our friends that becomes an issue…it happens on social media all the time. If God doesn’t want us to have some “extravagance” in our life, He wouldn’t have a mansion prepared for us, or streets of gold with beautiful diamonds and gorgeous stones that He tells us will be in heaven, or a crown to wear. That is extravagant love. He is an extravagant God! I’m so thankful for that in my life as I have seen Him do extravagant miracles during my life time. I could make a very long list!! My friends are an extravagant gift! Another recent gift is a new computer that is coming to my studio in the next three weeks or so! THAT is exciting for this gal. Grateful for answer to prayers that have made that possible.
This can mean many things to different people. I am just sharing maybe a new way of looking at that word and what it means. It matters to Him that we understand Him. Let’s be extravagant in our love, giving, helping, and with our time and talents. But most importantly, in our relationship with God. As you do that, you will see an Extravagant God do extravagant things in your life, home and family. It’s a great way to live. What would be extravagant for you? A few quiet minutes out side on a deck/porch, or time to read a few pages from a favorite book? Maybe a road trip? Take a moment in time and think about it. Or what extravagant thing have YOU done recently? Leave your thoughts in the comments. I would love to hear!
Until next time…