Generosity is an outward expression of an obedient heart,
for when we give, we fulfill our calling to love and care for others.
Giving elevates others above ourselves. Giving honors God.
#1 Fear – some people fear that if they aren’t generous, God will punish them. There is no basis for this line of thinking, Scriptural or otherwise, and it strips the joy and blessing from the act of giving.
#2 To Impress Others – this is a false generosity, because it is not done for the sake of others, but purely out of selfish ambition and vanity.
#3 Obligation – those who feel compelled to show generosity are more worried about their reputation than they are about the recipients of their giving. Sometimes, people who have done fairly well financially can fall into the trap of feeling obligated to always “pick up the tab” when the need for money comes up. This is compulsion, not compassion.
#1 As a Calling – some people have the “gift of giving”. These people seem to have a knack for generating the means to help others, and do so joyfully and abundantly.
#2 Out of Obedience – we were born wired with compassion for others, and giving is a tangible way to show that compassion. Also, the Scriptures repeatedly encourage us to give to those less fortunate, for one day we could very well find ourselves in the same predicament, where we will be remembered for our generosity toward others.
#3 Out of Gratitude – when we are truly grateful for all that we have, giving becomes a natural outpouring of that gratitude. Many times, financial help comes from someone who may not have a lot of money, but is so grateful for financial help they had received in their own time of trouble, that they couldn’t help but turn around and help someone else. Gratitude has a domino effect on others.
#4 Out of Humility – true generosity is never done for the sake of drawing attention to oneself. Its sole purpose is for the benefit of another. Period.
#5 Sacrificially – this is where you give up something you want, or even need, for the sake of another who has a greater need. Such generosity, when done with a right attitude, can bring benefits beyond what is measurable or imaginable.
#6 Cheerfully – because it feels good to help other, and to know we can make a difference in another’s life.
A Giving Attitude – motivated by grace, a transformed heart gives cheerfully, and not under compulsion, spilling over into a tangible love and care for the needs of others.
Giving Money – when done from a servant’s heart, giving to others out of our financial resources becomes a source of joy and blessing. When done from a guilty heart or out of obligation, giving becomes a source of bitterness. God loves a cheerful giver.
Giving Time – this can be a real testament to putting others ahead of yourself. We tend to be quite protective of our time, but what a blessing it is to put down that SmartPhone and do something for someone else! And the things we set aside fall into place anyway. A double blessing!
Giving Encouragement – there are times when one of the most helpful things we can do in the life of another is as simple as a hug or a kind word. People in difficult circumstances get discouraged and feel alone far more often than we may ever realize. A word of encouragement can be enough to brighten their outlook and keep them plugging away. Even when giving money or time won’t be of much help, encouragement is always needed.
Giving of Our Talents – offering the use of our skills and talents can not only benefit another, but can also build a sense of comradery and teamwork that can perpetuate even more good things down the road. Some people have few financial resources from which to give, but have an abundance of talent that can truly and practically benefit others. Don’t ever underestimate the value of your talents. What you know or can do will always be of benefit to another.
As stewards, we are called to generosity. When we give, we fulfill that calling to love and care for others. When we choose to not give, we fulfill the worldly view to love and care for ourselves. A growing spiritual life and a heart that is cultivated by God to give according what one has overflows into generosity toward others and toward our church.
“Command those who are rich in this present age not to be haughty, nor to trust in uncertain riches but in the living God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy. Let men do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to give, willing to share, storing up for themselves a good foundation for the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.”
I Timothy 6:17-19 (NKJV)
For Further Study: