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Written by Dynamis Ministries | May 11, 2023

In Jon Acuff’s book, Soundtracks, he reveals that 99.5% of people struggle with overthinking. Overthinking occurs when we spend too much time deliberating over decisions and fail to act. While it’s certainly wise to weigh outcomes and think through problems; oftentimes, we become so overwhelmed by the problem that we become stuck. One of the biggest consequences of overthinking is that it prevents us from living into our full potential because it fills us with fear instead of the hope and joy of God.

We’ve all experienced this in our own lives in some capacity, whether it’s weighing the outcomes of asking someone on a first date, choosing the right school for our kids, considering a possible job change or deciding how to hit the ball straight on the golf course! Sometimes overthinking causes us to miss out on tremendous opportunities because we’re stuck in the fear of uncertainty. This can even carry over into our generosity. Consider the ways this could be true:

  • Seeing someone in need but failing to act because we complicate the situation by wondering if a need is legitimate of or if our giving will truly be helping the individual.
  • Contemplating giving money to a campaign at a church or organization but holding back because we are uncertain if our budget can handle it.
  • Turning down a volunteer commitment because we doubt our abilities to perform some of the responsibilities.

Perhaps these situations connect with you or remind you of other ways you overthink your generosity. Whatever the case, there can be amazing things in store for us when we overcome our fear that is keeping us from acting and living into a more generous life. Let’s look at God’s Word and be encouraged:

The book of Joshua tells the story of Joshua’s leading of the Israelites to the Promised Land after Israel wandered in the desert for 40 years. When finally given the “yes” from God to enter the land, there was a major obstacle in the way – the powerful Jordan River. In a miraculous act, God parted the waters of the river and allowed the Israelites to walk through on dry ground, similarly to what he did in parting the Red Sea in Exodus. However, in this story there was one condition: God did not part the waters until the Israelites stepped into the river first. The Israelites had to step out in faith, not stand on the shores overthinking the fear of crossing over to the other side before God provided the way.

Similarly, oftentimes God does not act on our behalf until we step out in faith first. It’s only when we overcome our overthinking that we can see the rich blessings God has in store for us. As it relates to our generosity, we may never realize our full potential (dynamis) until we “step into the waters.” It may be scary to volunteer in a role we’re not sure we can perform, or to write a check that’s just beyond our level of comfort, but God can reward our acts of faith with blessings we may never realize. Rather than overthink generosity, let’s understand the power of God responding to our faith. Let’s go forward with boldness to act in generous ways even if we don’t know the outcomes. In doing so, we may see God open up amazing things we never thought were possible!