We were made holey to be holy.
We give in many ways for many reasons. We give out of passion. We give to organizations where the cause has impacted our lives. My Nana gives to the MS Society because she had 3 sisters with MS. We give out of guilt. Remember the fundraisers at the movie theater? Before the movie, a group of people would pass the bucket and you sat there thinking, I don’t even know what they’re raising money for, but I don’t want to be that one guy who doesn’t put anything in. We give out of love – a beautiful blessing to someone in dire need. You’ve eased their burden and it feels good to extend love in such a way. But giving isn’t necessarily the same thing as generosity. Generosity is God’s way of giving.
This world teaches us that everything we give is ours to begin with. We work hard to earn what we have. We hold onto family heirlooms passed down through generations. We bequeath our possessions in a will. We are the owners of what we possess. That is the world’s view, and it can be a closed-fist view.
God’s way of giving is generous, free and without hesitation.
Before we can understand what God’s meaning of generosity is, we must look at who He is and who we are. Here are some Scriptures to ponder:
“Through Him all things were made; without Him, nothing was made except through Him.” ~John 1:3. Everything I have has come from God.
“The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world and all who live in it.” ~Psalm 24:1
“Remember the Lord your God, for it is He who gives you the ability to produce wealth.” Deuteronomy 8:17
“…I do not give as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” ~John 14:27
“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
I may not fully comprehend everything in the Bible, but I do believe everything it says.
God is the creator and owner of all things, even us. We are His and all we possess.
God does not give as the world gives. His way of giving is different.
God’s gives freely and without hesitation. He could have spared His Son, but He didn’t. Why? Because He loves us that much.
Jesus willingly died for us. He could’ve come down from that cross and saved His very own life, but He didn’t. He was beaten, tortured and left to die in the most inhumane way – freely and without hesitation.
God has, does and will continue to give to us all that we need.
I’m human and selfishly may not always agree with everything God says or desires, but when I look at who I am, who He is and what He has done for me, my perspective changes and my attitude shifts. My faith grows stronger.
We use terms like “bucket list” to fulfill our lives, but we’re more like sieves being poured into endlessly for the sole purpose of spilling out to others all that God has given us. Has He given you the gift of compassion? I’m sure your compassion cannot help but spill out to others. Has He given you encouragement? I’ll bet you’re someone’s biggest cheerleader. You see, we don’t look at things like compassion and encouragement as things to own, but things to give, and it’s so clear that God has given us these things to give others. So, why don’t we look at tangible things like money and possessions the same way? The truth is, they are no different. They came from God too. When we give things like compassion and encouragement, we don’t run out! We are constantly filled up to give again and again. Why don’t we trust God to do the same with possessions? CS Lewis wrote in “Mere Christianity,” “Every faculty you have, your power of thinking or of moving your limbs from moment to moment, is given to you by God. If you devoted every moment of your whole life exclusively to His service, you could not give Him anything that was not in a sense His own already.”
Friends, all that I have, all that you have has merely been entrusted to us, broken imperfect people with cracks to shine His light and spill out the gifts He has given us. We have been made in God’s image, the image of ultimate generosity. “For God so loved the world that He gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.” ~John 3:16
The next time you are face to face with giving vs. generosity, remember that we were made holey to be holy and you will be blessed with an amazing peace and freedom to give generously.