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As Christians, we are called to love God and love others. One of those ways we express love is by our generosity. The majority of the time when we hear that word we automatically think “money.” True being generous with our finances is a piece of the pie and we can see that plainly in scripture. But you don’t have to be rich to be generous.
There is more to it. I believe that generosity doesn’t just start with opening the pocket-book, but it starts in your heart and in your connection with God. It doesn’t just bless individuals when we give, but it has a powerful ability to break things in the spirit as well.
Generosity in its most natural state is just “giving”. It’s giving of yourself, whether it’s your time, love, money, work, etc. So, many times we try to “hold” onto these things for ourselves or for ones who we think are worthy to give too. Or sometimes we only show generosity when it benefits us in return. That’s actually not being generous at all, for the true heart of generosity is to give and not to expect to receive. Plain and simple, it should never be about our personal gain.
Generosity in the Bible
Generosity is actually a function of the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5). You may be saying, I don’t recall that being listed in the 9 aspects of the fruit of the Spirit. And in some ways you’re right, it’s not blatantly listed, but it is hidden in the Greek word for kindness.
The word is agathosune. In the Strong’s Concordance (that is a book the helps you understand the Hebrew and Greek meaning of words in the Bible) the word is translated as goodness, kindness, or beneficence. Now let us just stop for a second and look at that third word to describe kindness, “beneficence.” I’m pretty sure that is not a common word in most people’s vocabulary. At least for mine, it’s not.
But it is used for the code of ethics for doctors and it translates, “Beneficence is an action that is done for the benefit of others. Beneficent actions can be taken to help prevent or remove harms or to simply improve the situation of others.”
In other words, to show kindness is to be someone’s benefactor. Or as I like to look at it, how can I be a benefit to someone. To benefit someone is to give of yourself. Therefore, generosity is an active expression of kindness. It’s really hard to be kind without giving in some way. The two usually go hand in hand.
I love what Proverbs 11:25 says, The generous man [is a source of blessing and] shall be prosperous and enriched, And he who waters will himself be watered [reaping the generosity he has sown]. (Amplified Bible).
Being generous causes us to become prosperous, enriched, and refreshed. Do you know why? Because then we can be even more generous and help more people! He knows that you will be the kind of person who doesn’t hold onto things, but has an open heart and hand always to give to others. You actually become a weapon in the Lord’s hand to bring blessing to a hurting world! That’s how powerful generosity is.
So, I want to encourage you today to put into practice being generous. Ask yourself how can I give and be a benefit to my spouse, my friends, to my church, my co-workers, to my neighbors, etc? And ask the Lord to show you and give you ideas how to express that generosity.
Don’t put it in a box, sometimes it’s a smile, other times it’s serving, a kind note, or it’s a $20 dollar bill. Let Him guide you and be willing to give of yourself.
One gives freely, yet grows all the richer; another withholds what he should give, and only suffers want. Whoever brings blessing will be enriched, and one who waters will himself be watered. Proverbs 11:24-25
Drop me a comment below on how the Lord is teaching you about generosity!