Authentic generosity never disappoints! It is counter intuitive, but true! When we give… we have less, but always feel like we have more. Why is this?
God is the ultimate example of generosity. Everything we have, has been given to us by our extravagantly generous God. Our breath, our life, our salvation, our relationships and the world around us, have all been bestowed on us with a lavish and undeserved grace. God is the ultimate giver.
The Bible tells us we are made in the image of God (Genesis 1:27) and therefore when we reflect his character we are operating most closely in line with how we were designed. Perhaps one of the most important ways we can do this, is when we choose, like God, to be extravagantly generous.
This is not to suggest that we should be generous out of compulsion or obligation. Forced generosity is legalistic and far from the heart of God and his intentions for our lives. Rather, choosing generosity out of an understanding of who we are as children of God, is what brings the truest sense of meaning and fulfillment.
When first establishing the guidelines for the people of God, a fascinating pattern emerged. In Deuteronomy 16, God codified a few principles for living great lives. The people are instructed to remember they were once enslaved in Egypt (vs 12) and rejoice in the current situation (vs 14). From the place of understanding their past and present, the people were exhorted to “give as (each) is able, according to the blessing of the Lord your God that he has given you” (vs 17). The chapter then concludes with a challenge to follow the guidance of the Lord “thatyou may live and inherit the land that the Lord your God is giving you” (vs 20). When the people approached life in this way, their gratitude and generosity were rewarded with the promise of tremendous blessing and fulfillment.
This pattern holds true today. When we orient our lives around remembering where we were, rejoicing in where we are, giving as we are able and following wherever God leads, we will find ourselves living the full lives God intends for us.
4 Principles for Fulfilled Lives:
- Remember where we were
- Rejoice where we are
- Give as we are able
- Follow wherever God leads
The sequencing of these four principles matter. We can not remove one, and hope the others will work. Remembering what God has done, for us allows us to rejoice. Rejoicing allows us to give generously. Generosity is crucial if we want to follow God into the promises and blessings he has in store for us. Paul highlights the profound excitement this truth should generate when he wrote, “no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined what God has prepared for those who love him” (1 Corinthians 2:9).
When we are generous, we draw closer to the heart and character of God. When we do so in extravagant ways, we increase our ability to be used by God and will inevitably find ourselves more fulfilled and ready to receive that which we could never have imagine God has prepared for us.
There are many ways to be generous. Generosity is simply giving to others that which is at our disposal. We can and should be generous towards others with our time, money, possessions, emotions, forgiveness, attitudes, assumptions, and intentions. And when we do, the benefits are limitless.
Ways to Be Generous:
- Generous with our Time
- Generous with our Money
- Generous with our Possessions
- Generous with our Emotions
- Generous with our Forgiveness
- Generous with our Attitudes
- Generous with our Assumptions
- Generous with our Intentions
What other ways can we be generous? I would love to hear your thoughts and comments below!