Have you ever given a gift that was a stretch for you and afterwards thought “I’m feeling that one. I could have and maybe should have leveraged those resources somewhere else?” I’ve been there. I echo the words of King David when he said “I will not sacrifice to the Lord my God burnt offerings that cost me nothing.” There is a cost to being generous. There is sacrifice. As we wrestle with these feelings the question we sometimes arrive at is the following – Is being generous worth it?
The skitsophrenia that goes through our mind and soul during these times is a very good thing. Because wrestling with the question brings us to this ultimate conclusion and declaration – YES! There are very few things in this world as satisfying and meaningful as being generous.
This wrestling process always takes me back to a place of remembering the fundamentals in my own life. The following are just some of the basic truths I’ve learned regarding a generous lifestyle. I encourage you to make your own list.
- Jesus made an impact with His generosity. “For God so loved the world that He gave.” “Every good and perfect gift comes from above.” Jesus is a generous God who gives in an abundant and exceeding fashion. As a Christ follower, I must reflect the spirit and actions of the one who gave His life for me. It is a privilege to reflect the heart of God.
- Generous people impact the lives of others. Centuries ago, farmers left portions of their field unharvested so the poor could glean from it. What I take from this is it was assumed you met the needs of your family. A farmer’s ultimate value was found in how his life overflowed to serve others. I love that picture. Is there anything better than being involved in someone else’s answered prayer.
- Generous people impact their own quality of life. Not only do I feel better about myself when I give, but whether its money, gifts, or time, every time I give something away, I always receive far more blessings in return. That’s just how God works. You can’t out give God.
- Generous people impact the next generation. What parents do in moderation, children will do in excess. My daughter mimics everything I do. Like all of us, this is good and bad. Fortunately, she is an extraordinarily generous young lady. Now there’s also those other things if you know what I mean.
- Generous people will experience their impact for eternity. As a Christian, when you are generous, not only do you receive the aforementioned benefits, but you are definitely sending it ahead for a time you cannot see. “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
I was reminded of these five things as recently as today. Make your list and please, be an answer to someone’s prayer tomorrow. You’ll be glad you did.