When we hear the word “generosity,” it might spark a lot of thoughts and feelings inside us - money, guilt, wealth, pride, status, greed, or even stress. Generosity is usually meant to signify giving in a joyful way, and it doesn’t just have to be about our money - whether that’s giving your time by offering to babysit for free, your resources by loaning someone a book or a dress, or your knowledge by being a mentor - the truth is that when the Bible talks about generosity, it has less to do with finances and more to do with your heart. Check out 3 ways that the Bible talks about generosity and why it’s important.
1. God is generous to us so we can be generous to others
Maybe you’ve never thought about God as being generous - but the Bible tells us that God was so generous that he gave his only son for us. John 3:16 says, “For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.”
But the generosity shouldn’t stop there. God is happy when we decide to be generous, too. Hebrews 13:16 reads “And don’t forget to do good and share with those in need. These are sacrifices that please God.” When God blesses us - financially or otherwise - he doesn’t want us to keep those blessings to ourselves. We can be generous with what we’ve been given because the truth is that it all comes from God and belongs to him (Romans 11:36), and when we decide to live generously, we’re doing so in the name of Jesus and for his glory (Matthew 5:16).
2. Generosity liberates us from the love of money
You’ve probably heard the phrase “Money is the root of all evil” - but that statement is actually misquoted from the Bible itself. The real verse reads, “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs” (1 Timothy 6:10). It’s not money that’s evil - it’s when we start to love money more than we love others, and more than we love God (Matthew 6:24). Generosity combats the love of money - when we’re being generous with what we have financially, there’s no room in our hearts to be stingy and hold on tightly to what we’ve been blessed with.
Living generously also gives us the chance to experience true wealth - what Timothy refers to as “true godliness with contentment.” (1 Timothy 6:6). When we set ourselves up to be content with what we have, we don’t have a problem being generous, and we won’t find ourselves struggling with the love of money.
3. Generosity changes our hearts
As hard as it can be to give joyfully sometimes, we all know that it feels good to be generous and give to others - there’s nothing like that warm feeling when someone opens a present that you picked out just for them, or you experience gratefulness from a friend after offering your time or services as a gift. Acts 20:35 tells us, “And I have been a constant example of how you can help those in need by working hard. You should remember the words of the Lord Jesus: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”
When we choose to be generous, we’re choosing to think about others before ourselves and flip our perspective of wealth - not just here on earth, but eternally, too. Being generous with the gifts that God has given us helps us to focus not just on what we have, but what we have to give away. Because if we’re followers of Jesus, we know that this world is not our home and we’re not taking anything with us when he comes back. Matthew 6:19-21 reminds us, “Don’t store up treasures on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.”
There are unlimited ways to be generous with what you have - whether it’s your time, your resources, your gifts and talents, or your finances. Learn more about giving and generosity at LCBCchurch.com/Give.