The Gifts of Generosity
October 30, 2023
Remember this—a farmer who plants only a few seeds will get a small crop. But the one who plants generously will get a generous crop. You must each decide in your heart how much to give. And don’t give reluctantly or in response to pressure. “For God loves a person who gives cheerfully.” And God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others. As the Scriptures say, “They share freely and give generously to the poor. Their good deeds will be remembered forever.” For God is the one who provides seed for the farmer and then bread to eat. In the same way, he will provide and increase your resources and then produce a great harvest of generosity in you. Yes, you will be enriched in every way so that you can always be generous. And when we take your gifts to those who need them, they will thank God. 2 Corinthians 9:6-11 NLT
God is the author of generosity, and the most uber-generous giver of all. Paul described to his Corinthian friends how the principle of generosity works. He said that the blessings we want in life come from our own decisions. Just like a farmer decides how big his crop will be by deciding how many seeds he will plant, we decide the amount of joy that will be returned to us when we decide how we will give. Giving—how much we give and when we give—is a personal decision that first and foremost affects us.
You know the people who are like that, don’t you? The ones who always compliment you first? The ones who always want to pick up the check? The one who shows up when they know you need help? And they always do it with smiles on their faces. They obviously derive great joy from giving and serving. They not only GIVE great joy, but they get it in return because they are not reluctant or doing this under pressure. It flows from their full hearts.
The gift of generosity to these people is first of all the pleasure and love of God—God LOVES a cheerful giver! He responds by generously providing all the giver needs when he or she needs it. They find themselves not only getting their needs met, but they have plenty left over to share with others.
This is a hard truth—so hard for the average human, even the average believer. So hard, in fact, that in just five verses Paul hammers it home five times. If you are truly generous, you will always have something to share—God supplies your needs and it’s an attitude of the heart. You count on Him to supply your needs, so your generous heart always says, “Of course I can share something. I can give. God is my Source, and He is taking care of me.” We inspire thanksgiving and gratitude in others and make sure that God will meet our needs.
- Think about it. If I am a believer, giving with the generosity God desires, I can never say, “I’m sorry. I just can’t give right now.” I can say, “I have decided not to give to that cause right now,” but authentic faith requires me to agree that it is my decision, based on who or what is my Source and my attitude. I need to take responsibility for my decisions.