By: Amy Dalke
If there is one thing I really don’t want you to know about me, it’s that I can be stingy.
The partial upside is that I’m so all-or-nothing, that I also have a tendency to give away the farm. (Not that we have a farm.) (That might be the most unfitting idiom I’ve ever used.)
To be gut-level honest with you, though, the giving side of me only comes out when I know I will still keep plenty for myself. The giving part of me just doesn’t do sacrifice well.
Greedy. Grasping. Grudging.
The world is hell-bent towards scarcity living. It’s constant cries are underlined with tones of hoarding and saving.
Keep all you can for yourself. After all, you need to have enough.
But I don’t want my life to be characterized by clenched fists. Because the core of the Gospel is wrapped in extravagant giving.
Jesus’ life turns the world’s scarcity message upside down. He said crazy things like “…don’t store your treasure on earth“; and he made bold proclamations like “sell all you have because your treasure is in heaven…and follow me.”
What is it that Jesus knew that we’ve somehow missed? How can we change our own mindset to live in direct opposition to the culture at large?
I hope you find yourself in the truths listed below. If not, I’m praying God will use this to fire up a big transformation in both of us.
5 Reasons Generous People Can Freely Give
1. Generous people know they won’t go empty.
Generosity is multiplication, not subtraction. The more we give, the more we will have. Because generous hands remain open to receive, pour out, and repeat.
“A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed.” (Proverbs 11:25)
2. Generous people know they hold the treasure of true life. (1 Timothy 6:17-19)
Financial wealth is here today, gone tomorrow. Placing hope in a bank account will lead to crashing disappointment every single time. You’ll either lose it here on earth and be devastated, or you’ll die and have to leave it here. Either way, it won’t last.
But when we live based on the unshakable certainty of God’s unending love, we share willingly, because we understand that we find life when we give it away.
“For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me and for the gospel will save it.” (Mark 8:35)
3. Generous people know where they came from.
“But who am I, and what is my people, that we should be able thus to offer willingly? For all things come from you, and of your own have we given you.” 1 Chronicles 29:14
We brought nothing into this world, and we can’t take anything with us when we die. Even our very next breath is a gift of grace.
“Freely you have received, freely give.” Matthew 10:8
4. Generous people know that healthy relationships are founded on self-sacrifice.
Actually, I’m not sure you can have a healthy relationship without it. Because love is generous. Period.
There’s no better description than the wedding chapter (aka 1 Corinthians 13). Instead of being dulled by it’s familiarity, soak up this version:
“Love never gives up.
Love cares more for others than for self.
Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have.
Love doesn’t strut,
Doesn’t have a swelled head,
Doesn’t force itself on others,
Isn’t always “me first,”
Doesn’t fly off the handle,
Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others,
Doesn’t revel when others grovel,
Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,
Puts up with anything,
Trusts God always,
Always looks for the best,
Never looks back,
But keeps going to the end.”
Based on that description, it seems to me that generosity is just another word for love.
God is Love, and God is the ultimate Giver: He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? (Romans 8:32-33).
For God so loved the world…that he gave. Yes: loving and giving are synonymous.
5. Generous people know that “stress-free” begins with an outward focus.
Giving to other people gives you benefits beyond the warm, fuzzy feeling. Scientific studies show that our mental and physical health improves in direct correlation to our generosity. A University of Michigan study tracked nearly 3,000 people for 10 years, and found that men who volunteered regularly had death rates 2.5 times lower than those who did not. The researchers concluded that generosity was a key factor in reducing their stress, and supporting their immune system.
If Jesus left the riches of heaven, to become poor, so that we could live…does it really make sense for us to hold things so tightly?
Do you need a new view?