Wealth and riches are in their houses; and their righteousness endures forever. Even in darkness light dawns for the upright; for those who are gracious and compassionate and righteous.
We once had a family friend in the small town where I grew up who was quite wealthy. My aunt and uncle took him in as a young man when he was destitute. He never left. His life’s goal was to amass a fortune and he didn’t care how he did it. Was he driven by greed? In his case, no. Fear was his taskmaster. He lived through the depression with a mother and several siblings. Hungry, he had gone to work at seven years old to deliver papers in order to put food on the table. As a child, he declared, “I swear I’ll never be poor!” His entire life was shaped by those words.
With a vow so far from God’s heart, it’s good for me to think about God’s generosity. The biblical concept of generosity is this ~ Someone who loves to give and just can’t help himself. He almost dances when the opportunity comes his way.
There are many reasons why I don’t give generously. Fear of deprivation, fear of giving away something that I’m attached to, fear that it won’t be received, or fear that I will get nothing back. Greed is not always at the center of why a person withholds. What is the cure? One I might not expect. Paul said, You will be enriched to be generous in every way, which through us will produce thanksgiving to God. 2 Cor. 9:11 God promises, through Christ, to make us so rich that we’ll give it away – confident that He will more than compensate. And when we give recklessly, others won’t understand it and just might give glory to God.
If I’m not a good giver, it is only because I have not fully realized how much God has given to me and how much I have yet to claim. How well do I know His promises? There are many resources from heaven’s bank account that I’ve not yet drawn upon. Only when I stop living like an orphan, looking to the earth to give me what I need and looking to my Father whose arms are full of gifts, will I be overwhelmed by His generosity. I’ll know I’m on the right track when I am compelled to share it with somebody. Until then, I’ve only just begun to realize what is mine in Christ.
I know some people who love to give. I think they love to do it more than I do. I’m looking hard at the reasons, Lord. Amen