In 2016, President Nelson told young adults,
“I promise you that as you consistently give the Lord a generous portion of your time, He will multiply the remainder.”President Russell M. Nelson, “Stand as True Millenials,” 2016
I was recently reminded of this quote and started wondering what it meant to give time generously to God. I’ve always felt like it’s better to do something rather than nothing when it comes to living the gospel, and I still think that’s true, but could and should we be choosing to do more?
What Does Generous Really Mean?
Let’s talk about the word “generous” for a minute. (Keep these ideas in mind because we’ll be building on them the rest of the month.) “Generous” has several meanings on Dictionary.com, including:
- Liberal in giving or sharing
- Large or abundant
I like these definitions for “generous,” but I also want to add something to them. The way I see it, generous giving means giving enough that it’s a bit of a challenge. If what you’re giving is easy to give, give a little more. Generosity should stretch a person at least a little. This will look different for everyone because, at different times of life, everyone is capable of giving different extents of generosity. And that’s absolutely fine. Whatever generous is for you right now, aim for that.
We know that God is generous to us. He’s given us everything—our lives, this world, our families, and every breath. And He chooses to bless us with additional blessings every day.
But are we as willing to be generous to Him?
None of us are perfect and none of us are God, so none of us can hit God’s level of generosity. But that doesn’t mean we aren’t capable of becoming more and more generous. And when our generosity is directed toward God, it will change our hearts in drastic ways.
So let’s start with President Nelson’s invitation to give God generous portions of our time. This is an easy one to let slide in our lives because we have so many distractions and excuses and responsibilities. But there might be more ways to do give your time generously than you thought.
7 Ways to Give Time to God
1. Scripture Study
Scripture study often seems like the only way we can give time to God. But it’s also something that can be easy to push off or just do the minimum of. Consider what you’ve been doing with your scripture study. What’s one way you can give it a little more of your time? Maybe read two verses a day instead of one. Maybe read a chapter instead of a few verses. Or maybe dig into new books of scripture along with your usual reading. Giving that extra bit of time, even if it’s just another five minutes, will be valued by God.
2. Listening to Uplifting Music or Talks
Scripture study isn’t the only way to give time to God. The fact is, not everyone can dedicate a couple of hours to scripture study every day. But there are things you can do throughout the day to give time to God without doing long scripture studies.
One of these ways is to change what you listen to. Instead of listening to the news, listen to a General Conference talk. Instead of your usual jams, try some Church music. Even choosing something that’s more uplifting, whether or not it’s Church-related, can make a difference and help you focus more on Christ.
3. Choosing Clean Entertainment
And that leads to other forms of entertainment. There’s a lot of entertainment in the world that isn’t uplifting or good. But good entertainment does exist! It just sometimes takes more effort to find it.
That being said, even clean entertainment can be a problem if it’s distracting us from God. It’s absolutely okay to enjoy good entertainment, but it shouldn’t overshadow other things we need to do to build our relationship with God.
4. Serving Others
One of the ways Christ chose to spend His time while on earth was serving people. If this is how He chose to spend His time, then it seems like a good way for us to use our time too. And when we spend time serving others and striving to become like Christ, we are giving our time to God.
5. Intentional Prayer
Prayer can seem like a pretty easy thing to do. You say a quick prayer over your food, and done. But it’s better to say intentional, careful prayers that focus your mind on Christ and our Father. These prayers can still be brief. It mostly requires a careful effort to consider the words of your prayer. Regardless of the length of your intentional prayers, being particular about how you pray can show God that you’re making time with Him a priority.
6. Sharing the Gospel
Sharing the gospel can be a great way to give time to God. It only takes a few minutes to post something about the gospel on social media or have a conversation with someone about your beliefs, but choosing to use your time that way illustrates your desire to generously give God your time throughout your day.
7. Directing Thoughts to Christ
Finally, a simple way to generously give time to God is to check your thoughts frequently throughout the day. How often are you thinking of Christ? What could you do to keep Him front of mind throughout the day? Checking and redirecting your thoughts may not feel like giving time to God, but as you focus on Christ more and more throughout your day, you’ll end up giving God larger portions of your day.
So it doesn’t take long hours of studying to give God generous portions of your time. There are ways to give Him that time even while you go through your other daily activities. The more He’s incorporated into our time, the more we’ll see the fulfillment of President Nelson’s promise that God “will multiply the remainder” of our time.
Read the Other Articles In This Series
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All of November, we’ll be talking about ways to give generously to God. Check back next week for the next part of this series!