When Scripture repeats the same word multiple times in quick succession, we need to pay attention. God’s trying to tell us something important, and repetition is the key. He caught my attention recently using the word generous. Read 2 Corinthians 9:6-13 and count how many times it, or a form of it, is used:
“Remember this—a farmer who plants only a few seeds will get a small crop. But the one who plants generously will get a generous crop.
You must each decide in your heart how much to give. And don’t give reluctantly or in response to pressure. ‘For God loves a person who gives cheerfully.’
And God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others.
As the Scriptures say, ‘They share freely and give generously to the poor. Their good deeds will be remembered forever.’
For God is the one who provides seed for the farmer and then bread to eat. In the same way, he will provide and increase your resources and then produce a great harvest of generosity in you.
Yes, you will be enriched in every way so that you can always be generous. And when we take your gifts to them, they will thank God…
Your generosity to them and to all believers will prove that you are obedient to the Good News of Christ.”
God obviously values generosity. Sometimes I wonder, however, if fear gets in the way of our displaying the same quality. Know what I mean? We’re afraid to give generously lest we won’t have enough to meet our needs (or wants).
What does that say about us? It says we don’t understand the faithfulness or even the desire of God to meet our needs. It also says we don’t share God’s compassion toward those who are less fortunate.
When we lived in Nepal, the generosity of our villagers astounded me. At that time (1982-85), Nepal was the fourth poorest country in the world. The people with whom we lived had next to no material possessions, and yet they’d bring gifts of food to us. Their offerings, nay, their example, blessed us beyond words. How much more should I give freely to others from my abundance?
Opportunities to be generous abound because needs are endless. We can give through our churches, through mission organizations, through local charities, and through organizations such as World Vision (we support two children in India and Nepal).
Someone once said, “Give hilariously!” I agree. Let’s be more generous and less concerned about our lack. Because God’s a generous giver, we ought to model the same characteristic. Let’s give freely from our abundance, or even our lack, and trust Him to bless our obedience.
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