Bruce Demarest: The Trinity and Generosity

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Now they know that everything You have given Me comes from You. John 17:7

“As apprentices of Jesus, we must intentionally and prayerfully model the others-centeredness, intimacy, trust, honest communication, and unconditional love that He exhibited in relationship with the Father and the Holy Spirit as a member of the social Trinity. To experience transformation into wholeness and holiness, we are called to cultivate, nurture, and sustain the quality of relationships experienced between the Father, the Son, and the Spirit. We do this by imitating Jesus’ life on earth, which flowed from His life in the Trinity. Jesus cared greatly for people who cared little for Him or His kingdom cause.

For example, Jesus dealt patiently and compassionately with the Samaritan woman who resisted His efforts to lead her to the truth (see John 4:4-30). He patiently nurtured His disciples, who were spiritually dull, strong willed, self-confident to the point of arrogance, and at times contentious with one another and with Him. He demonstrated extraordinary humility and love by washing His disciples’ feet (see John 13:3-14). He dealt lovingly and nonjudgmentally with the woman caught in adultery, while dealing firmly with the scribes and Pharisees who used her as a pawn to trap Him (see John 8:1-11). He showed compassion to the rich young ruler in his misguided search for purpose and satisfaction in life (see Mark 10:17-22).”

Bruce Demarest in “The Trinity as Foundation for Spiritual Formation” in The Kingdom Life: A Practical Theology of Discipleship and Spiritual Formation (Colorado Springs: NavPress, 2016) 234-235.

When the Trinity shapes our generosity, we become more compassionate. We give people what they need and not what they deserve.

But how do we live this way? Daily, like Jesus, we open ourselves to receive from the Father and we give only what we receive by the Spirit.

We must neither overcomplicate it as apprentices of Jesus nor be arrogant about it. As hands and feet of Jesus, let us humbly follow His example.

The best part is that when we live this out, people will know. Jesus said, that people knew in watching Him and they will know in watching us.

Father, as I fly to El Salvador today to meet up with colleagues, fill me with your Spirit to serve compassionately. Hear my prayer in Jesus’ name. Amen.