Give away your life; you’ll find life given back, but not merely given back—given back with bonus and blessing. Giving, not getting, is the way. Generosity begets generosity.” Luke 6: 37-38 The Message
This is the season of giving and generosity, or it’s supposed to be.
We live in a land of so much abundance. We are used to having whatever we want at our fingertips.
We want. We reach. We get.
But doesn’t the Bible say, “… to whom much is given much is required.” ?
There is an accountability that comes with abundance.
We don’t like to think about that because we’ve become quite independent minded.
We go about our daily lives, never thinking about the eternal consequences of our choices. And then, when someone reminds us? I don’t know, maybe we squirm a little, and equivocate, or change the subject.
The teaching of “sowing and reaping” is something we in the Church like to talk about, as long as we are talking about getting MORE for our own little piggy banks.
Ah, then we like the principle.
But, what if our believing about “sowing” means we are required to live with LESS?
What if Jesus wants to challenge us to sow into His kingdom with the clear understanding that our more, will be stored up for us in heavenly places?
Will we still sow generously?
Could be it’s time for a REAL change in our generosity thinking.
And, perhaps, a paradigm shift in our hearts as well?
I like what Winston Churchill once said,
“We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.”
Being a generous giver is not just a “spiritual gift” The Spirit bestows on a chosen few.
Though, I will admit, I have often heard persons in the Church “pass the buck” (sorry about the pun) glibly proclaim, “I do not have the ‘Gift’ of giving.”
As though generosity is out of their personal purview or control?
True, the gift of Giving, is listed in the Bible as a spiritual gift.
But that does not mean, it is always and only meant for someone else, as if I am somehow free to let that mature responsibility pass me by.
No, generosity is also expected of me.
I am to believe and live kingdom-minded.
“And don’t be concerned about what to eat and what to drink. Don’t worry about such things. These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers all over the world, but your Father already knows your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and he will give you everything you need. So don’t be afraid, little flock. For it gives your Father great happiness to give you the Kingdom. Sell your possessions and give to those in need. This will store up treasure for you in heaven! And the purses of heaven never get old or develop holes. Your treasure will be safe; no thief can steal it and no moth can destroy it. Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.”
Luke 12: 29-34 NLT
In the kingdom I am to grow up into a generous person. Why? Because generosity it is an outward sign that I believe ALL the Bible teaches me about the money, and the possessions I have been allowed to steward.
This holiday season…
We will find ample opportunities to show generosity toward others.
Yes, we need to use wisdom. Absolutely! The scam artists are rampant this time of year.
But, we also need to remember that there are people hurting, helpless, and homeless everywhere we look these days. This year has seen disasters aplenty!
Let’s give generously of our time and resources and be the hands and feet of Jesus in this world.
Let’s open our hands and our hearts…
Chuck Swindoll once said,
“Compassion usually calls for a willingness to humbly spend oneself in obscurity on behalf of unknowns… Truly compassionate people are often hard to understand. They take risks most people would never take. They give away what most people would cling to. They reach out and touch when most would hold back with folded arms. Their caring brings them up close where they feel the other person’s pain and do whatever is necessary to demonstrate true concern.”
Doesn’t that sound just like Jesus?
Isn’t that what the Bible means, when it says, “It is better to be humble in spirit with the lowly than to divide the spoil with the proud”? [Proverbs 16:19]
This holiday season.
Let’s give ourselves away, knowing, that what we sow into the lives of others here on earth, will absolutely be added to our accounts in heavenly places.
And since we know our lives here are a mere vapor, here today and then soon gone. Let’s behave as if this life, with all the stuff we have, is but for a moment, but our rewards in heaven are truly eternal!
This is how Jesus has called us to live, and since we are His followers, let us also do!