“I want to give her the biggest diamond I can afford. I don’t really care if I have to work a hundred hours overtime to buy it. I love her like crazy and I want to give her the best engagement ring I can possibly buy.” It’s called love.
“I want to give My very own Son – even though it means He will be rudely treated and brutally assaulted and ultimately die a shameful and painful death on a cross. I love sinners so much I want to give my one and only Son for them.” It’s called love.
“Paul, please, please let us give to the Christians in Jerusalem. Even though we are poverty-stricken ourselves, we really do want to give what we have, even if it means depriving ourselves of some necessities. Nothing would make us happier than to send a gift to them.” It’s called love. (Macedonian believers, 2Corinthians 8)
How motivated are you to give? When have you last shown generosity to someone? And were you thrilled to do it or was it more like an obligation? Are you generous rarely or mostly? Do your eyes scan the horizons, looking for opportunities to give and then give some more? “I’m not rich,” you say. “When I am blessed with a good job, finish paying off my student loan and have my car loan and house mortgage paid down, then I will be in a position to be generous.”
Generosity is an attitude – an inner desire to happily give to others the possessions that people naturally keep for themselves. Generosity is the water from the well of gratitude and love. When the well is dry, guess what happens?
The well is not the wallet. The problem is not the wallet. The problem is the well.
Generous and giving believers are not that way because of the size of their wallet or the balance in their savings account. They are that way because of the gratitude and love that flourishes in their heart.
So often we hear there are many ways to give and so there are. Giving is not just expressed in dollars. But sometimes we can use that as a cop-out as well. There’s something about ‘cash’ that misers love. In fact, they will donate their time and their talents and be quite generous with that – but when it comes to parting with cash, it stays between their mattress or in their sock or in their bank account. That’s because they place a higher value on their money, than on their own time or abilities.
When Paul was teaching the Corinthian believers about ‘giving’ – he not only used the believers up the road (Macedonia) as an example; he turned to the supreme example. His words to them were:
But as you excel in everything-
in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in all earnestness, and in our love for you-
see that you excel in this act of grace (giving) also.
I say this not as a command,
but to prove by the earnestness of others that your love also is genuine.
For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ,
that though He was rich,
yet for your sake He became poor,
so that you by His poverty might become rich.
How much water is flowing from my inner well? Is it gushing out liberally or is it down to a trickle – like say – the ritualistic ten percent? How much do I love the Lord? How much do I appreciate my salvation? How deep is my gratitude? Spend some time today thinking about His willingness to become poor in order for us to be made rich! The more time I spend thinking upon Him, the greater the surge of gratitude will be and the deeper my well will be.
A spiritual Christian is a generous Christian. You can be a generous Christian and not be a spiritual one. But you cannot be a spiritual Christian and not be a generous one.
Walk carefully and closely with the Lord today.
Warmly in Christ
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