Our ability to give hinges on our idea of how the world is, does it not? If we believe we must hold tightly to what we have, our ability to receive will also be hindered.
If we perceive others, God, or even life in general to be sparse in goodness and blessings, we will develop a generosity gap. Something besides giving fills that gap, so we give less. The desire to give wanes too. Eventually, we will live thoroughly according to our purview –which is a close-fisted plexus of Generosity, and a closed system.
Fear and mistrust are the guiding elements in a close-fisted worldview. The close fist builds the muscles of fear and mistrust, and these sinews burgeon into every area of our life. Where God’s people do not give generously, there is a culture and predominating sentiment of mistrust and fear, toward God and others. This is, sadly, also an attribute of spiritual immaturity. Perfect love casts out fear. Perfected love and grace spurs generosity–a very reflection of God’s nature.
Our behavior reflects our Theology. (i.e. It mirrors the way we have studied and apprehended the Supreme Being)
The temptation to withhold is a temptation to not trust in God. It will indeed effect our worship of God, and diminish our spiritual growth.
Is there a cure? YES. (Well, cure is rather strong word…but let’s continue…)
In short, to be generous in deed and in spirit, remember God’s faithfulness. Notice the lavish displays of God’s generosity, even in his astonishing creation. The intricate details of his many designs, the lavish beauty everywhere in nature, are surprisingly needless–unless we consider God as a generous Being, par excellence.
Verse for Reflection:
Now [God] who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God. This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of God’s people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God. Because of the service by which you have proved yourselves, men will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else. And in their prayers for you their hearts will go out to you, because of the surpassing grace God has given you. Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!
Do you think God is stingy? Do you feel your blessing are few? What treasure do you have that you must give more freely to God (time, talents, funds, other)?
Recommended Spiritual Discipling (training) to help galvanize Generosity:
(If you’d like to work on your generosity, with your ministry or small group, or use fasting as training to promote generosity, contact me.)