Now, I don't mean to sound like I've been bought, but my opinion of this friend has gone way up. Generosity does that doesn't it? When someone is generous to you, its only natural for you to think highly of that person. Think of the people who have helped you out of binds in the past. Think of people who have given you a meaningful or expensive gift just because they care about you. My guess is that you think highly of those people.
I have been blessed to have two people in my life like that outside of family. Because of their generosity, I know that they care about me. Because of their generosity, I think highly of them. Because of their generosity, I am willing to let them say tough things to me. What I mean by that is if they sit me down to correct me or give me advice I don't agree with, I stop and think it through because they said it though I might have just dismissed it had it come from someone else. Because of their generosity, I defend them despite their flaws and give them the benefit of the doubt. Is their generosity the only thing that makes me feel this way? Of course not, but generosity is very powerful.
Command them to be good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. 1 Timothy 6:18
Did you know that as Christians, we are commanded to be generous? The recent act of generosity towards me reminded me that generosity is a crucial and incredibly powerful part of the Christian life.
We are commanded to be generous because God is generous. When God created Adam and Eve, He gave them an amazing paradise to live in because He is generous. After we sinned against Him, God continued to love us and bless us because He is generous. When we needed salvation, God held nothing back and gave up His beloved Son for us because He is generous. As Christians, we need to be generous like our Father so that when people look at us they are reminded of Him.
We are commanded to be generous because it helps our focus to be on the right things. The verse tells us to be rich in good deeds. Too often we strive to be rich in all the wrong ways. We strive to be rich in money and possessions. Choosing to give the physical wealth that we have up for others reminds our hearts what is truly important. Generosity can actually help our own personal spiritual lives by preventing physical wealth from becoming an idol and reminding us that loving God and others is most important.
We are commanded to be generous because we represent Christ. As Christians, we carry Jesus' name and act as ambassadors for Him. Whether you like it or not, people will form their opinions about Jesus and the Bible based on the way the Christians in their life act. That means you. When we act generously towards others, we show them that we care about them more than our own wealth. When we act generously towards others, we show them they matter to us. This is the kind of impression we want to make. This will cause them to think highly of us. And ultimately, this will cause them to think highly of Christ. Our generosity can be an incredibly powerful gospel presentation.
We are commanded to be generous because it opens doors for us to speak into people's lives. As I mentioned, the most generous people in my life have a special chance to say tough things to me. I might ignore or dismiss others, but not them. When we are generous to others, we earn a kind of trust with them that goes a long way. When you are generous to others, they will be more willing to listen to you when you try to steer them away from sin. When you are generous to others, they will be more open to talking to you about things that might otherwise be off limits. Generosity opens the door for the gospel and much more.
So, what do you have to give others? You may be broke, but you may have time or talents to offer people. What do you have to offer?
What expenses can you cut out of your life so you can purposefully spend money to be generous to others?
Who is in your life (friend, family, classmate, co-worker, etc) who you can bless just for the sake of generosity? Who is in your life that actually has a need (whether that need is groceries, help with homework, or simply needing a friend to talk to)?