As people of God, we should reflect His generous, benevolent nature and loving characteristics in our attitudes and actions. We are exhorted not to refuse those who would borrow from us or to focus on ourselves but “Do to others what we would they do to us…For freely we have received, freely give” (Mt 5:42, 10:8; Lk 6:31; 1 Tim 6:18). Give and it will be given back to us for the same measure we use towards others is what will be used towards us, thus sowing a meager crop will result in a small harvest while sowing bountifully will result in abundance (Lk 6:38; Rom 12:8; 2 Cor 9:6-15; Gal 6:9,10). “Giving freely brings gain, while withholding results in poverty. A generous man will prosper” (Prov 11:24,25). “The righteous give generously...and the generous man will be blessed…It is more blessed to give than receive” (Prov 21:26, 22:9; Act 20:35). From this plentiful supply we can be generous at every appropriate occasion which will result in praise to God as we thank Him especially for His indescribable gift – our salvation in Christ who richly gives us all things to enjoy (2 Cor 9:15; 1 Tim 6:17). Being generous is not just giving out of surplus finance or spare time but often involves a genuine sacrifice of giving from what we need (Mk 12:41-44; 2 Cor 8:2,3). Be big hearted in your giving, hospitality, faith and good works – it’s a sure method for developing character, as well as wise stewardship of what has been entrusted to us.
The blessings of God are not to be horded and just utilised for ourselves but shared with others (Prov 21:26; Lk 12:16-21). Our lives should be channels – receiving and passing on. The Dead Sea only has water flowing into it but not out and nothing can live in it! Those that cling selfishly onto life, not being willing to expend themselves for the kingdom of God, will forfeit the thrill and blessing of being used by the Lord who, after all, died to purchase their allegiance (Mk 8:35-37).
“The Lord freely shows favour...no good thing will He withhold from those whose walk is blameless. Good will come to him who is generous for He will not withhold anything that will help us to continue to live for Him” (Psalm 84:11, 112:5). The Bible is clear, those that are generous in helping people in need, will be blessed by God in all their work and in everything they put their hand to (Deut 15:7-11).
By being generous and going out of our way to benefit those in need we are actually doing this as if to Christ and will be rewarded (Mt 25:34-46).
Generosity goes beyond the minimum, normal or what is expected. It is voluntarily going the second mile (Mt 5:41). Jesus instructed, “Invite those to a meal who can’t return the gesture” (Lk 14:12-14).
Jesus became poor that we might be rich (2 Cor 8:9). He gave His life that we might have life, and we are to show that same kind of attitude (Phil 2:5-8). It is important to maintain the correct order of priorities – being generous towards others comes after our stewardship to God and fulfilling our family responsibilities.