I was at the gym this past week and as I was flipping the TV stations on my elliptical (there are TVs suspended from the ceiling to view as you run, walk, or ellipti-size on your stationary machine) I switched between news stations, sit-coms, sports channels, and talk show, one talk show caught my eye. They had the cast of Duck Dynasty telling their story, adding to their viral popularity. Though I have never seen the show, yet I have listened to a few of their interviews and heard some of their philosophies of life and actions they have taken.
One line of questions that many interviewers seem to ask has to do with their handling of their new fame and now great wealth. In the interview they made reference to their new wealth commenting on their generosity and that they have given much of their money away. I yelled out a big ‘amen’ when one of the men said they gave most of it to their church! (People in the gym were giving me weird looks and I wanted to explain that I was a pastor and excited for the pastor of their church and what a blessing that would be and how God would use those resources and how I know that this would be a huge encouragement to the community, church, and pastor…but I just looked around and smiled.)
The truth is when people are generous it is a very powerful action of encouragement. Sure it meets a need and that alone is a blessing. Like the time a member of a small group needed a new hearing aid and their small group got together and paid for it for that person. Now yes that need being met was amazing, but what meant more was the generosity of that small group. The person receiving the gift was not only encouraged that the others loved them, but their faith was refreshed as well. Their faith was built up because both the givers and receiver of this generosity were focused on the Lord. They were both seeking God and trusting in Him to lead, guide, and provide…and God did. He gave the group the idea to pool their resources (even though some had to make some sacrifices), and the one receiving the gift God gave faith that He would take care of them…and He did!!
I could spend all day telling story after story of God-inspired generosity; a college student’s fees paid, a pastor’s income short-fall filled, a hungry family given bags of groceries, a discouraged job seeker provided with some rent-assistance, a single mom’s kids camp fees paid, or a widows house fixed. I could fill this page of the ones I know about or have received myself. And the power of these acts of generosity are even more amazing, used by God to; lead people to the Lord, bring people back to God, strengthen faith, snap people out of depression, bring joy in sorrow, build confidence in the Lord, infuse hope for reconciliation, and more.
2 Corinthians 9:11 You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.
It’s not that we need to wait until we are rich (which is relative), but to have a heart that looks to bless and give rather than receive.
Galatians 6:10 Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.
It means we are not stingy, but open-handed…
Proverbs 3:27-28 Do not withhold good from those who deserve it, when it is in your power to act. Do not say to your neighbor, “Come back later; I’ll give it tomorrow”– when you now have it with you.
See, there is such a power in generosity, so why not try it? Even today! Not only will others experience the power of generosity, but there is a great blessing in being generous. Try it and you will see.
However the greatest reality of generosity, the greatest power of generosity is when we are generous, we are being very much like our Lord, and that is huge!! So why not be like Jesus and be generous? You will yield a great power.
Seeking to be generous like Jesus with you,