Luke 12:34 - For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
I think we all know people that we would describe as generous. If I asked you to describe them to me how would you do it? What words would you use? What qualities would you highlight? I’m guessing that all of it would be positive and glowing and attractive. When you think of them, do you think primarily about how much money they give away or does it go beyond money? Do you think about their time, their words of encouragement, their spirit, their life?
Generosity is a big word. It definitely describes an act, a behavior – pulling out my wallet or writing a check - but maybe more so it describes an attitude, a mindset, a way of being that comes from a way of thinking and believing. It incorporates our $tuff as well as our heart.
The generous people that come to my mind make me smile and bring joy.
Generosity, generous living, is attractive. Why is that?
I think mostly it is because it is a reflection of the wildly generous God in whose image we are created.
It looks like Jesus, the most generous person to ever live.
Read Philippians 2: 4-8 to be reminded. He (Jesus) was with God, was God from before the beginning and yet he freely (generously) gave up his God-ness to become one of the people he created. Then He gave (generously) that life on a cruel cross so we could be with Him for eternity.
Jesus (and the New Testament), talks about generosity and our $tuff in some form or fashion over 200 times! (More than prayer. More than worship. More than any other subject except love.) Apparently, he cares about it a lot. As I look at Luke 12:34 I can understand why. Our $tuff is directly connected to our heart ... and he cares deeply about our heart.
To live generously is to live outwardly, open-handedly, not afraid of what is not there, not afraid that I will run out, but knowing that our $tuff is not “ours“ to begin with, it is all a gift from our generous and abundant Father.
So then, out of following Jesus’s example, out of obedience, out of gratitude for what has been given to me and out of the genuine joy and blessing that I experience from it – I can give my $tuff, my heart, my time, my life and I can give it generously!
This begins to look a lot like Shalom - everything right and as it should be.
Good Father, would You grow in us generous lives that look more like You and would You make us more attractive to a needy world in which we live.
Make a list of the gifts that God has given you - that you are aware of today.
What things on that list can you give away today with open hands and heart?