A friend recently recounted the story of his great grandparents' generosity. During the great depression, their small town in Ohio was in great need. Believing that God had provided abundantly for them, they gave away their wealth to save the town. A monument still exists in the town expressing gratitude for their extreme generosity.
Generosity — the habit of giving freely without expectation of return — was a value handed down through the generations of my friend’s family. Giving freely was a part of his family’s DNA. Most of all, his story revealed the deep connection of generosity and faith in Jesus to provide resources to live and give. Listening to his story convicted me.
I began to ask myself if true sacrificial generosity is part of my expression of faith. Jesus’ teachings suggest that how I steward the resources entrusted to me reveal what I truly value in life (Luke 16:11-13). If examined closely my actions at times reveal:
A sense of entitlement to my material possessions and
A sense of obligation to pay a God tax on what I earn.
Only when I realize that all I have belongs to God and not me, can I give extravagantly and sacrificially. Until I put all I have at risk for His benefit and dare to pay the personal cost, will I be truly generous.
I realize that I have been adopted into a family known for its extravagant and sacrificial giving. My Father gave His Son for me. His Son gave his life for me. My faith is based on an extravagant and sacrificial gift on the cross.
For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich. (2 Corinthians 8:9 NIV)
Join me this week in the joy of extravagant generosity.
Sharing the journey with you,