(Photo by Selma Komisky)
The Heart of Generosity
By Kyle Jane Heskett
I have been a believer in Jesus most of my life. Looking back at my time as a kid, in high school, and as a young adult, I was a Christian, but I missed out on a huge part of who God is. God, by His nature, is generous, but I wasn’t. It was when I started dating my husband that I saw a different side of Christ, a deeper side. My husband didn’t have a lot, but he would give to others. When I started tithing and giving when God prompted me to, my worries about finances melted away. When I started taking time out of my life to serve others, what I got back was joy. This is the power of God. When we take part in generosity, we connect with the very heart of God and witness things we never thought we would.
I will be the first to admit that it is hard to be generous. There are so many things demanding our attention and money, it is almost as if generosity has become an anomaly. It didn’t use to be. The early church was known for their giving. Followers of Christ were recognized because of their love for others. Have we lost that? Have we forgotten about one of the most powerful ways to show who Christ is to others?
What is generosity, and what keeps us from embracing it? One thing I’ve noticed is that many times we feel like we do not have anything to give. Maybe if I had more money, I would give some away. Maybe if I had more time, I would pay attention to others. Maybe, maybe, maybe. But generosity is not an issue of how much you have. It is a heart issue. 2 Corinthians 8 shows the Macedonian churches in extreme poverty, yet giving what they were able. They were “rich” in their generosity. If one is not generous with the little that they have, they will most likely not be generous if they had more. The Atlantic released an article in 2011 revealing some of the studies from Boston College on the super wealthy. Several people still feel financially insecure despite their fortunes. One man reported he wouldn’t feel financially secure unless he had $1 billion in the bank. Things like money ultimately won’t matter in our ability to give. Generosity is in a person’s character.
The beauty of giving is that it lets us take part in God’s work here on earth. We get to remind people through that that Jesus is the provider, the light, and the One who gave everything to save us. When most people pass someone by, we need to be the ones who stop. Generosity doesn’t just bless others, it also blesses God and us. God delights in His children taking care of one another. He also designed it so that giving to others brings us joy. “In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive’ ” (Acts 20:35 NIV).
The Holiday season is upon us and everyone agrees that it is the season to give. But maybe this season you can be bold enough to ask God to give you a spirit of generosity that will bleed into the new year and beyond.
“So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask him.”
– Matthew 7:11 NLT