What comes to mind when you hear the word “generosity”?
Generosity is one of those things we all value, yet how it works out in our lives can be a different story. Did you know that Australians are becoming less charitable as the share of people making donations has fallen to its lowest level since the 1970s.
God designed us to be conduits through which His generosity flows. Paul instructs us to live generous lives so that we “may take hold of that which is truly life” (1 Timothy 6.17-19). The Bible teaches us that the life we truly desire comes when we give, rather than when we consume or hoard.
Experience seems to confirm this truth - have you ever met an unhappy generous person? I love being around generous people. There is a sense of life, joy, and freedom in the atmosphere whenever they turn up. I want to be a generous person. Indeed, the God we know in Jesus is a God overflowing with love and generosity.
“We love because he first loved us”
We are to be generous because God has been generous to us. The apostle John encourages us that “we love because he first loved us” (1 John 4.19).
Isaac Watts put it this way in his famous hymn, “Love so amazing, so divine, demands my soul, my life, my all”.
“Love so amazing, so divine, demands my soul, my life, my all”.
When we recognise God’s grace in our lives, we can confidently say, “I have everything; therefore, I am free to give everything”.
However, a culture of generosity isn’t simply about money.
A culture of generosity is about helping one another follow Jesus by using the time, space, gifts, energy, compassion, and yes, the money that God has given us. John Wesley said:
Do all the good you can
by all the means you can
in all the ways you can
in all the places you can
at all the times you can
to all the people you can
as long as ever you can.
A culture of generosity benefits everyone, especially the giver. Jesus himself said: “It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20.35). A culture of generosity defeats selfishness. A culture of generosity encourages love and kindness. A culture of generosity builds emotional and mental health. And most importantly, a culture of generosity is built on the words and teachings of our Lord Jesus - to Him be glory for ever and ever. Amen.