One gives freely yet grows all the richer; another withholds what he should give, and only suffers want
The kingdom of God is an upside-down kingdom. Jesus said that in order for a person to save her life, she must lose it for His sake (Mark 8:35). The greatest of all in the kingdom of God is the one who serves. The last shall be first, and the first shall be last.
Christian living is truly countercultural, especially when it comes to the concept of generosity. While the world advises us to hoard, take, and amass more and more for ourselves, the Bible tells us that a healthy and vibrant soul is a giving soul. In our generosity, we reflect the image of the lovingkindness of our God, who spared nothing, not even His beloved Son, in order to rescue us from eternal separation from Him. Generosity is a form of reconciliation that declares the glory of God, and its beauty lies in its joy. God loves a cheerful giver (2 Corinthians 9:7); not an obligated, reluctant, or stingy giver.
The New Testament verifies the words of Proverbs 19:17, “Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the LORD, and he will repay him for his deed,” through the example of Ananias and Sapphira in the book of Acts. The first two verses in Acts 5 tell the tale: “A man named Ananias, with his wife Sapphira, sold a piece of property, and with his wife’s knowledge he kept back for himself some of the proceeds and brought only a part of it and laid it at the apostles’ feet.” The Lord didn’t have a problem with Ananias’ donation; He had a serious problem with Ananias’ deceit in pretending that he had given more sacrificially than he actually had. Godly generosity, the kind that boosts your soul health, does not have to do with a specific quantity of cash or goods, but your wholehearted desire to give it away. A healthy soul gives because it helps someone else and glorifies God, not to show off or humble-brag for the praise of others. Our souls give gladly as a healthy response to wisdom. Godly wisdom understands that true treasure is found in relationship with God and others, which moth, rust, and robbers cannot take or destroy.
Generosity from a guileless soul not only glorifies God and helps others; it’s also kind of a dare. God says in both the Old and New Testaments that He promises to repay kindness and giving. Don’t you want to take Him at His word and see how He creatively and unexpectedly keeps His promises in response to your cheerful giving?
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