Generosity – A Reflection of God’s Heart
Generosity is God’s nature – it’s who He is. God is the lavish provider of every good and perfect gift. That’s His Heart. His radical, Kingdom generosity has nothing to do with our pedigree, postcode, position, or what we think we have to offer and everything to do with His goodness, abundance, loving kindness and mercy.
As His children, Christians are called to be like Him.
Giving generously flows easily for many, and so it should, because the Holy Spirit lives in us; we are being changed into His image more and more, learning His ways. But there are times – especially in the face of financial uncertainty, job loss and unemployment, when it can become a challenge to maintain an open handed – open heart attitude to giving. If we aren’t careful, we can develop a poverty mentality.
A Poverty Mentality
I have a confession; I realised a couple of years ago that I had allowed a ‘poverty mentality’ to develop in me.
If we don’t guard our hearts in times of financial hardship, we can allow ourselves to slowly slide into a poverty mentality; A kind of fearful waste-not-want- not way of thinking.
This is nothing less than a spirit of fear in operation.
The sneaking little thoughts that come with it are thoughts such as ‘God hasn’t provided for me’, ‘if I give away some of the little I have, I’m going to end up with nothing’.
These thought patterns tend to make us close our hearts and hands to the needs of others, believing the lie that we have nothing of value to give.
Psalm 23:1 tells us: The Lord is my shepherd; I have all that I need.
If you find yourself in that place of ‘poverty mentality’, you can counteract those fearful thought patterns by reminding your heart of the truths from the Word of God regarding His faithful provision. Trust Him to do what He says He will do.
God isn’t Interested in Your Money, It’s Your Heart He Wants
God’s radical, Kingdom generosity has nothing to do with how much money you have. (Or don’t have) What God is really interested in is your heart.
For example, have a look at this widow in Luke 21:1-4 “While Jesus was in the Temple, he watched the rich people dropping their gifts in the collection box. Then a poor widow came by and dropped in two small coins. “I tell you the truth,” Jesus said, “this poor widow has given more than all the rest of them. For they have given a tiny part of their surplus, but she, poor as she is, has given everything she has.”
When you give with a heart that reflects His own, God can take your ‘small portion’, sown in partnership with Him, and multiply it to bless others far beyond your wildest dreams! Remember the boy with his little basket of loaves and fish that fed thousands of people?
Joy – Giving – Joy
In my forty years as a Christian there’s something I’ve observed; the most generous people are very often the ones who have the least, materially. And these generous givers are always, without fail, joyful, people!
Paul describes a church like this in 2 Corinthians 8:1-3
“Now I want you to know, dear brothers and sisters, what God in his kindness has done through the churches in Macedonia. They are being tested by many troubles, and they are very poor. But they are also filled with abundant joy, which has overflowed in rich generosity. For I can testify that they gave not only what they could afford, but far more. And they did it of their own free will.”
The More You Give, The More You Will Have to Give!
God blesses you and I so that we can share, not hold tightly onto what we have.
“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”. 2 Corinthians 9:8-10
Be blessed today as you share out of your blessings with whoever God puts on your heart.