At the Heart of Generosity
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I am praying that you will put into action the generosity that comes from your faith as you understand and experience all the good things we have in Christ. Your love has given me much joy and comfort. (Philemon 6-7 NLT)
Seven-and-a-half years ago I was given an amazing opportunity—a chance to merge my passion for writing with my heart for justice and helping the hurting. As a writer for Operation Blessing, CBN’s humanitarian arm, I could go to work each and every day with the confidence that I was doing something truly good for my world.
And that meant to world to me!
As a humanitarian worker, I’ve had a lot of opportunities to think about love, charity, giving, and generosity. The Bible tells us that love should be at the heart of all we do (1 Corinthians 16:14). It encourages us to be charitable and tells us that God loves a cheerful giver (2 Corinthians 9:7). Looking beyond giving to generosity, we discover even more richness. To be generous is to be liberal in your giving.
But generous has another meaning as provided by Dictionary.com: plentiful or large, a place of abundance.
Our God is a generous God. Creation itself is an expression of God’s generous love. In the beginning, in His carefully crafted Eden, Adam and Eve lived in abundance. And when God’s creation fell, what did He ultimately do? He gave His Son for us so that we could have eternal life. That’s some amazingly powerful generosity! Now we can give out of a spirit of generosity and abundance as well.
And when we give—it’s just one of those laws of life—God gives back to us. Giving fills us with joy, love, and fulfillment. Sometimes, it even precedes our own financial blessings.
Giving can occur in many forms: physical gifts, service, time, and emotion just to name a few. We can also advocate for others.
Recently I met a family who had been living in a single small hotel room—for four years! Every time the mother tried to get herself and her four children into a better home, something fell through. And she was exhausted.
More than anything else, she needed someone to come alongside her and lift her weary arms. And God placed on my heart that I should take on that challenge. It wasn’t easy. It took a lot of research, time, and determination. I rallied a community to support her financially and emotionally. It took some positive action on her part as well, but she was re-energized by the support and ready to take on the challenge.
Five months later she and her kids moved into their own three-bedroom apartment. For them, it was large and plentiful, a generous home, a place of abundance. And honestly, I think I felt as blessed as they did.
Financial giving is also important to God. It’s a way of acknowledging that ultimately, He owns everything, and we’re more than willing to give some of His blessings back—or as is often the case—to pay them forward. And, God doesn’t judge the size of our gift, although He certainly values the extent of our sacrifice. Looking beyond the surface to the heart, He counted the widow’s mite of only a few cents, offered out of her scarcity, as the most precious and generous gift of all.
So give generously from an open heart, and experience the joy it will bring!
Reflect on a time you gave generously. What was in your heart? How did it feel during? After? Have you ever given and regretted it? What might the reason be?
Scripture is quoted from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.
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