A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed. Proverbs 11:25
One evening a CPA was giving a presentation. Here are a few thought-provoking questions he asked the crowd: “If each of these chairs represent a portion of how you spent your money or represented a part of your estate over the last 30 years, what story would they tell? Out of the various stories that might emerge, would there be a story of your generosity?”
Often, we want to be generous. We think we are being generous, but there may be a bit of dissonance or in-congruence between what we think we are doing and reality. The good news is, whatever your answer is to the above questions, this can be the beginning of bringing the awareness of your generosity top of mind and heart.
Where in your life are there opportunities to become more generous?
The Abundance of God
Here is something I’ve been thinking about: since God is abundant in every way as one who knows no limits or scarcity, would what happen if my generosity was directly connected to the nature and character of God? Rather than driven by our own nature or character? This would mean that we would rarely think of what we don’t have when it comes to generosity, but live in the question of “what do I have today to give?”
Abundance thinking gives way to abundance living and a deep understanding of Jehovah Jireh, God our provider. If we don’t see God our Father as the provider, then it will always be us up to provide for ourselves and to keep our own flow of provision going…with the idea that we might run out one day. But locking into the truth that God is my Provider can free us to be generous with our resources.
A colleague was speaking to someone who needed help with a down payment for a car. The woman is a single mom with a special needs son, she works full time and last week while exiting the freeway, her car died. She was able to get to the side of the road with the help of a kind stranger. After months of nursing her vehicle, it finally died for good. She was unclear about what to do next. As she was telling this story to my friend and the friend thought “I wish I could help her, but how?” Without saying anything or offering, she just had a desire.
The conversation progressed and suddenly the woman remembered that she was getting back a sizable insurance refund check that she didn’t expect. She knew God had provided a way for her to help this mom. She told the mom that she was expecting a check in a couple of weeks and that she could have it for a down payment toward a car. The mom cried. Both women rejoiced because they knew it was the goodness of God at work.
Living from generosity is living with the expectation that God is provider. We can trust His nature when we are not sure we can trust our own character.
Trusting God as provider gives us freedom to give without fear of lack or scarcity.
Many years ago, I decided to tithe from the gross profits in my business. Meaning, I give to God before taking money out to cover business expenses or anything else. Some had a problem with that and asked why I would not at least take out the cost of doing business (pay myself back) and then tithe on the rest. My answer is simple. I trust Jehovah Jireh, my Papa and provider who has more than enough to see me and my family through whatever we need. That’s how I’ve lived for many years. I have no regrets. And, no intention of doing it any other way.
How do you see God’s character and heart when it comes to His abundance and your generosity?