Ok, if you are reading this then there is a pretty good chance you are a Christian that is interested in Biblical Finance (if you aren't a Christian…please keep reading to get a simple, easy to understand explanation of why Christians are called to be generous). Anyway, if you are one of those Christian Finance gurus (and trust me, you are to some extent if you read this blog!) then you probably make a mistake that I find myself constantly tripping up on all the time–We mistake our fellow Christians for people who have a passion for Biblical finance. Truth be told, there are many Christians who really don't even know where to begin when it comes to the Bible and money.
Enter you. You are passionate about the subject and you dive into the conversation quoting passages left and right, presenting dichotomies from the new and old testament. In a flurry of passages and passion, you loose your audience. Guys and girls like us have to step back and start with the basics. For that reason, I created a 4 week series on the basics of Biblical finance. As short and sweet as I could possibly make it, I broke down the Bible's “big” ideas on money into three core essentials: Stewardship, Generosity, and Contentment. From here where can take an average joe and give them a solid foundation from which to move forward into deeper waters. Here is what I came up with regarding Generosity.
Generosity: A Labor of Love
1. Generosity is the result of a transformed heart.
“Each one must do just as he has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” (2 Cor. 9:7)
God loves a cheerful giver and if we let Him, He will cultivate a joy in generosity within our own hearts. This is how we learn to give with pure motives and pure hearts. We are wasting our money and embittering our hearts when we give out of guilt or obligation. As we allow Christ to transform our hearts, we joyfully give first, proportionally, secretly and sacrificially. (See Also: Prov. 3:9-10, 1 Chron. 29:5-9, Acts 11:29)
2. Generosity is a lifestyle of giving and loving fully.
“Remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He Himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.” (Acts 20:35)
The call to generosity is hardly limited to the offering plate. We are called to be generous people. We should gladly choose to be generous with our money, time, energy, talents, gifts, and on, and on. Generosity, when understood biblically, is a way of life. (See Also: Gal. 1:3-4, John 15:13)
3. Generosity is a spring of life to those who give biblically.
“Instruct those who are rich in this present world…to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share…so that they may take hold of that which is life indeed.” (Tim. 6:17-19)
The Bible teaches that it is better to give than to receive. We are told that generosity is one component of taking hold of “that which is life indeed”. When we give, we live as Christ calls and love others well. When we withhold, we follow the world’s idolization of consumption and love ourselves well. (See Also: Luke 6:38, Phil. 4:17, Prov. 11:25, 22:9, 28:27)
This is an article by Rob Kuban of dollarsanddoctrine.com and author of the book on Christians & Money, Dollars And Doctrine: What Does The Bible Actually Say About Money?.