A Christian’s heart should be a generous heart! We have after all experienced the incredible generosity of a God who owes us punishment, but gives us adoption and eternal life instead. How can we not be transformed by that kind of generosity?
“Give generously to them and do so without a grudging heart.” (Deuteronomy 15:10)
“Whoever refreshes others will be refreshed.” (Proverbs 11:25)
We often think of generosity has a purely material thing, but I’ve been reflecting recently that a generous spirit is overflows relationally in so many other ways.
How about a quick generosity of spirit health check?
Questions to ask my own soul:
Is my spirit quick to listen? – really listen, with a heart to understand the other person? Do I actually care what is happening in their heart? Am I slow to pass judgement on someone, choosing to give them the benefit of the doubt? Am I quick to give honour, praise and recognition to others? Am I concerned with refreshing others? Am I quick to offer friendship, and to call someone friend (and mean it)? Is my reflex to offer mercy and forgiveness, even if it hasn’t been asked for? Is it my instinct to share with others what God has given to me? Do I joyfully see my resources not only as opportunities to enjoy God’s abundant provision for my enjoyment, but also to bless others?
Or do I want others to listen to me? Do I find other people boring? How quick am I to critique and point out other people’s flaws? Do I only honour others begrudgingly, and wish other people would recognise how great I am? Am I blissfully ignorant of the emotional needs of others? Am I slow to offer real friendship to others, waiting for them to earn it? Do I hold a grudge, waiting for others to atone for their sins against me? Do I hold onto all my resources, saying ‘mine!’
“My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry” (James 1:19)
So a final encouragement, to decide in your heart to give a listening ear, to give honour, to give care and concern, to give friendship, to give mercy, to give blessing…
Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. (2 Corinthians 9:6-8)