I am sure that I am dating myself by referencing CliffsNotes® in this blog. I was pleasantly surprised upon googling such that CliffsNotes is alive and well and even comes as an app for your mobile device.
So now you are probably wondering why I am talking about CliffsNotes . . . well, it is because of our Associate Pastor of Discipleship, Rev. Casey Orr. Thanks to Casey, we have our very own CliffsNotes on living out discipleship in the way of the Healthy Plate Discipleship framework.
The beauty of Healthy Plate is that it explains in very simple terms — FUMCFW’s “CliffsNotes” for Discipleship — the spiritual practices each of us can live by as we strive to become more like Jesus Christ.
As a quick reminder, the six areas for growing stronger in faithful discipleship are worship, serve, give, learn, play, and pray. Each practice is equal in value, but as Casey points out, some of us may find it difficult to maintain a well-balanced experience when it comes to our faith. I would even go as far as to say that some of us come up short in some of the practices because we have a “sweet tooth” for some over others or we prefer the McDonald’s approach of “quick, easy, and takeout.”
I like to think of myself as the staff member responsible for inspiring you to practice giving.
Giving is an act of worship. Giving is a way of honoring God. Giving is a way of showing gratitude. Giving is an investment in our ministries and in our community. Giving is the commitment to put God first in all facets of your life. Giving is an action that anyone, any age, is capable of doing.
I believe that the six aspects of Healthy Plate Discipleship are very attainable for all of us, but each practice needs to be intentional to the point that it becomes a habit that results in dividends!
A habit of consistent generosity comes with rewards in the way of:
• Your deepening trust in God;
• Your sharing of God’s love with others;
• Your gaining of a personal perspective that using your financial resources to help others rather than for promoting your own happiness is life-changing; and, ultimately,
• Your realization that your true purpose is “Going out to be God’s people in the world.”
If you are already practicing generosity, thank you. If you think your Plate of Discipleship is a little skimpy in this practice, pray about it and then let God direct you.