The Mindset of Generous Giving

by Lee Buford on January 4, 2011

Do you ever stop to think much about giving? Do you prioritize the use of your financial resources for work of the church, your brothers and sisters in Christ, and for those in need around the world?

I was reading through the following in 2 Corinthians:

We want you to know, brothers, about the grace of God that has been given among the churchesof Macedonia, for in a severe test of affliction, their abundance of joy and their extreme poverty have overflowed in a wealth of generosity on their part. For they gave according to their means, as I can testify, and beyond their means, of their own accord, begging us earnestly for the favor of taking part in the relief of the saints— and this, not as we expected, but they gave themselves first to the Lord and then by the will of God to us.

(2 Corinthians 8:1-5 ESV)

I, as I trust you will be, am reminded that our wealth and abundance of resources in America is a result of none of our own work. Sure, we work. We have jobs. But, in light of the rest of the world, every one of us would be considered wealthy by any standard. Our access to food, transportation, money, and technology is unmatched. But we must always remember that any favor and blessing we’ve received as individuals, and as a nation, is the complete manifestation and total result of God’s grace in our lives.

He has blessed us with what we have…all of it. And He’s chosen to do so of His own perfect will. It’s not mine and yours. We are merely stewards of God’s grace and blessing. And with such blessing comes a responsibility, an obligation to use our resources for His purposes.

In the text above Paul refers to the “grace of God that has been given among the churches” by those who, though living in extreme poverty, counted it joy to do so. And this joy “overflowed in a wealth of generosity on their part.” I wonder if the same could be written of us.

And, perhaps most impactful to me, Paul writes of their view and attitude…how they see the opportunity before them, “begging us earnestly for the favor of taking part in the relief of the saints.” Do you and I so desire to love and help others that we would beg for the opportunity to do so? It’s quite a sobering question we are forced to confront.

So where do you stand in light of your views on this “opportunity” before us? Do you see your good fortune, blessings, and resources as a means by which to help and love others? Or do you see them as things you’ve “rightfully earned” in return for your hard work in life?

I pray that we would see the grace and mercy of God in the favor He has shown us and that, in turn, we would be motivated and compelled to “beg” for the opportunity to bless others as a result.

In this much is made of the name of Jesus. In this He is pleased and glorified. In this we are faithful servants.

 

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