orange basketball shoes and the generous eye

Would you like to more easily see needs and have the confidence to meet them? Would you like your kids to be givers?

He who has a generous eye will be blessed, for he gives of his bread to the poor.” Proverbs 22:9

A Giver has a Generous Eye

A “generous eye” means that we are looking at others with the desire to give. He who has this generous eye expects to be part of the process of blessing others with his possessions. This includes our money, resources, time, home, talents, skills, and whatever else God lays on our hearts to relinquish to another. It’s actually quite freeing to see all we have as God’s, not holding tightly onto things. When this is our perspective, we have no need for attention, credit, thank you’s, compensation, or reciprocation.

A story about bright orange basketball shoes and a generous eye.

My daughters had a scrimmage basketball game. Right after their game, a high school boys’ team ran onto the court for practice. I was amazed at the sea of bright, fluorescent orange basketball shoes. Nike Hyperdunks, to be exact. We had just been shopping for basketball shoes for my own girls, so I was aware of this impressive shoe. These boys flew around the court with great speed, huge grins, overjoyed with their new shoes.

I noticed two of the players did not have these matching shoes. Brothers…whose family I greatly admire.

All of a sudden it happened.

That still small voice.

“Buy the shoes for them.”

I’ve learned over the years to immediately trust these random creative ideas that flash through my head… and actually, I’ve found this to be one of the most gratifying things about a relationship with Christ.

Expecting to hear from Him. Then trusting. Then responding by obeying.

Thoughts quickly raced through my mind. I knew this family. I was aware that they had lost their father a few years ago. I knew the mom was intentional to teach her kids to trust God, to expect Him to provide and meet every need. I knew that after her husband had died, she and the kids began a journal to document God’s faithfulness in meeting their needs and even their desires. She was deliberate to teach them to trust God. The fruit of her teaching was on display… her kids were completely content.

I approached the coach on the sideline and inquired. He said the shoes were an option and that yes, these two boys had chosen not to get them. He spoke highly of the boys and their whole family.

I told him I’d like to anonymously buy the shoes and have them delivered. He put me in touch with the right person to know the exact shoe model.

I like to include my kids in these experiences – to be a part of the joy of seeing and meeting needs, to shape their perspective of possessions. I see it as real- life opportunities to influence them in having an others-focused mindset. I want them to fully grasp the personal relationship with Christ where we expect to hear God reveal needs and are used to meet those needs. I want them to expect, trust, and obey. I want to role-model putting obedience over fears, insecurities, and a desire for my own comfort.

So, I told my girls about the shoes as we were walking to the car. Oh the excitement! That’s how it goes – joy in giving!  No need for anyone else to know – just delighting that we were being used to bless someone – in a very specific way.

We included my college son by asking him to handle the ordering process – wanting to continue to influence him to see with a “generous eye.”

I did have to tell their mom. After all, getting the exact shoe size seemed pretty important. She was humbled at God’s goodness. She saw this as an extra blessing from God – just a little touch showing how much He cares. She was eager for them to experience His goodness.

The package arrived, and my friend called me to share their reactions. They were overjoyed.

There we were on the phone. Two friends rejoicing in being the giver and receiver, knowing God was in it all. Both grateful for another example for our kids to experience God and His provisions.

To God be the glory.

What about you?

  • Do you have a generous eye?
  • Do you expect, trust, and obey?
  • Are you teaching your kids to have a generous eye?

I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Rhonda joyisfoundinobedience ellis

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  1. Love your heart, friend.

  2. sunshine

    I grew up in a missionary family. On a rare visit home, our youth group planned a visit to an amusement park. We were so excited until our parents simply said we could not go. They didn’t explain why. I was perplexed. The trip was the following morning, and just before bedtime, we found out we were to go after all. I always wondered why my parents changed their minds. Years later, I realized that they had always wanted us to have that treat, but we couldn’t afford it! Someone else must have bought our tickets and food! What a blessing! I wonder if they know how huge that was to us!

    • Rhonda

      That’s so sweet. Thanks for sharing that. 🙂

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