Just as a growing-up-in-the-Lord thing, I realized how important is was to act from values and principles. Reacting to people and circumstance meant that I was continually off balance and I often didn’t think things through very well. I had also been deeply wounded by selfish people in my life (and been ashamed of my own selfishness) and as a part of the healing process, I came to value kindness, encouragement, and overall generosity.
While it’s wonderful to receive from these good values and we all pretty much talk about how great they are, they really don’t amount to much unless you work them into your life ~ until you work them into you.
So, why be generous?
To honor God by being obedient to His Word.
I like God. He’s important to me and I want to please Him. He’s also very smart. So when He tells me to be generous, I’m going to listen and do what He says.
To honor His creation, those lovely people around us who are made in His image.
Our world is deeply wounded and hungry for a kind word, a hug, or a listening ear. Folks need someone to babysit their kids, help them shovel snow or just share a cup of coffee at the kitchen table. Generosity is an incredible gift to those around us.
To live a life of that matters. I want major “ripple effect” of the good kind from my life.
I am just one person. That seems kind of small in the scope of life here on earth. But one person can effect great change, like a pebble landing in a pool causing ripples that grow wider and wider. (I love the story of the early church in Acts. The God-kind-of-generosity was astonishing to people and many became believers because of what they saw modeled.)
May I encourage y’all to consider generosity as a way of life? Aside from the good you can do, the return benefits are great. God will bless you in surprising ways and you’ll be swamped with the back wash of generosity and kindness that comes with that kind of lifestyle (yes, there are some wounded folks who won’t respond well, but most folks will). Pray and practice. The more you do it, the better you get at it.
A couple of links and a few scriptures to think about:
A generous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed. Proverbs 11:25 NIV
A generous man will himself be blessed, for he shares his food with the poor. Proverbs 22:9 NIV
Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life. 1 Timothy 6:18-19 NIV
And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased. Hebrews 13:16 NIV
Give generously to him and do so without a grudging heart; then because of this the LORD your God will bless you in all your work and in everything you put your hand to. Deuteronomy 15:10 NIV