How generous are you? Toward your family, toward your friends, toward strangers? Often we act in ways that our parents did and that we were taught growing up. Maybe it is genetic as well, but the way we see those around us acting toward others goes a long way in determining our generosity toward others. Maybe another question should be how stingy are you toward others? If someone really needs help and you have a chance to share, how often do you try to justify not doing something? I have been in both places at different times and I can say I always have more regrets not doing something that I have in acting toward a situation. What opportunity would you like to have back in being able to act generously?
One person gives freely, yet gains even more; another withholds unduly, but comes to poverty. A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed. Proverbs 11:24-25
What is your response to someone begging or panhandling on the street? If you are like me, the first time you see this, your response is to give them something, whether that be some money, or to get them some food. If you can do this, it is a good chance to share the reason why you give, because of Jesus. I have done this several times to random strangers I encounter, but don’t always know the result of the interaction. If you see this several times a day, you may become calloused toward these people, thinking that your giving doesn’t make much of a difference in their lives. I’ve been in this spot as well. Even asking God, how should I act toward a career panhandler?
See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. 1 John 3:1
What has been the most treasured gift you have received? It may not even be the biggest gift, but for me it is often the unexpected or the most needed thing at that moment. Its not always the size of the gift that matters, but that you actually cared to give something at all in a given circumstance. That someone would care to think of me and give something that came from their heart, is often what I value most. Even a kind word or two written in a card is more valuable than the money they may have put in there.
Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 1 Corinthians 9:6-7
Throughout scripture, there seems to be a theme of blessing toward those that give generously. That, as followers of Christ, as we have been richly blessed, we ought to bless other in return. We ought to love others, as God has loved us. We ought to forgive, as we have been forgiven. We do this out of a natural response to the great love and mercy God has shown to us. Is this our response? Not always, when I let the influence of the World into my heart and mind, but it is my response when the Lord dwells in my heart and mind. Let us strive to act as generously as Christ has been in all ways toward us!
Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. Luke 6:37-38
Yours in Christ,