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Generous People Give When Others Will Not

May 15, 2020

As you know, you Philippians were the only ones who gave me financial help when I first brought you the Good News and then traveled on from Macedonia. No other church did this. Even when I was in Thessalonica you sent help more than once. I don’t say this because I want a gift from you. Rather, I want you to receive a reward for your kindness. Philippians 4:15-17 NLT

Doesn’t it feel great to be part of something big? To join something you already know will be successful because other people are doing it? That’s one of the hardest parts of building a church or raising money—people are attracted to success, and it is a rare person who will be part of the risk-takers who invest when no one else is doing it.

Most of the time, givers like to be part of a larger giving community. It is satisfying and reassuring to know that others believe in the cause as well and it doesn’t all depend on you. Yet sometimes God calls on people to stand alone, to go first, to take the risk no one else is willing to take. Generous people understand that and are willing to be that person.

The Philippian church understood this generosity. Paul frankly said, “Not one other church shared with me. Only you. And you gave more than once.” Even when he was far away ministering in Philippi, this one church was willing to give, to provide the needed support, even though it meant standing alone.

It won’t be surprising if you find yourself in this position someday too. You see a situation of need, and no one else is giving. But something inside of you says, “Come on—let’s do this!” Your personal impact can be enormous. Just as God used the Philippians to encourage Paul and keep him doing the work that still matters today, God may use you to be part of a mission that ripples through eternity. Your personal journey will be enriched as you give.

Keep in mind, generosity is not something that comes later after you accumulate money and “get in a better place.” It’s something you live out wherever you are in life today, in scarcity or plenty. The Philippians were not more wealthy than other churches, but they were more generous with what they had. Generosity is not natural. Self-preservation is natural. Generosity is a choice you make, a lifestyle you cultivate. It becomes part of your DNA and pervades every area of your life.

  • How are you cultivating generosity in your life? Whom do you know who is a deeply generous person on ordinary means? How could you learn from that person’s life and choices?
  • Ask God to open your eyes to specific needs where He wants to use you to help make an eternal impact.