I have always been inspired by the generosity that is culturally ingrained in the indigenous peoples of Canada’s way of life. In the potlatch system, every need will be met, sometimes tens of thousands of dollars at a time. On one occasion I witnessed a donation of a $10,000 cheque being contributed to the expenses of the funeral feast by the person who had passed. Generosity at its best. Best life insurance ever.
I Corinthians 9:7-9: I want each of you to take plenty of time to think it over and make up your own mind about what you will give. That will protect you against sob stories and arm-twisting. God loves it when the giver delights in the giving.
God can pour on the blessings in astonishing ways so that you're ready for anything and everything, more than just ready to do what needs to be done. As one psalmist puts it, “He throws caution to the winds, giving to the needy in reckless abandon. His right-living, right-giving ways never run out, never wear out”
(2 Corinthians 9:8, MSG).
Often time the greatest hindrance to generosity is our perspective. When our focus is on our need and not on that of another, we will be then influenced by our own need, whether we will give or not, or to what extent we will give.
Generosity is not something that is mandated; it is something that is an outflow of our nature. The character of God created into us. This is not only cultural, but it is the nature of God that is far too often repressed in us.
We need not misunderstand tithing as generosity. Tithing is obedience. “Tithing is training wheels for generosity.” As we start with 10%, we will find that this will not be enough. There will be needs that exceed our obedience to tithe.
Generous - ἁπλότης haplotēs: singleness, simplicity, sincerity, mental honesty, the virtue of one who is free from pretence and hypocrisy, not self-seeking, and openness of the heart manifesting itself by generosity (Strongs Concordance).
Hebrews 10:24 says “Let us spur one another unto love and good works…” To what can we give?
If Generosity is anything other than a joyful willingness to give it has become hypocrisy and an attempt at accolades. “God loves it when the giver delights in the giving”
(2 Corinthians 9:7).
ἱλαρός hilaros: willing, cheerful, joyous, and prompt to do anything. This word is translated in many of our English texts as cheerful. The original language is hilaros, from which we get hilarious.
Our needs are great. Our capacity to give is greater.
As we go into summer let us consider ways in which we can generously bless others and God. Let us be “hilaros” in our approach to the opportunities before us to give.
Give with abandon. Give generously. Give often. Hilaros days are ahead of us.