Over the years I have read and listened to debates about the how we go about helping people with our treasure, talents and time. Most of the discussions are focused on giving money to people standing on the street corner. There also discussions about who are more generous: the poor or the wealthy. Ken Stern argues that the poor almost three times as generous as the wealthy. St. Paul congratulated the poor followers of Jesus in Macedonia for their generosity:
“And now, brothers and sisters, we want you to know about the grace that God has given the Macedonian churches. In the midst of a very severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity” (2 Corinthians 8:1-2).
Notice that generosity of spirit and the pocket book is a spiritual fruit of experiencing God’s generosity. If you believe that your wealth is only the product of your hard work and intelligence; then you know that your wealth is limited to your capacity to create it. Finite beings cannot create infinite wealth. If you believe that your bank account and assets are gifts from an Infinite Being, you know that you can never out give the Giver. St. Paul reinforces this thought with these words:
“And they exceeded our expectations: They gave themselves first of all to the Lord, and then by the will of God also to us” (2 Corinthians 8:5).
The Macedonian followers of Jesus realized they needed to give their very lives to the Creator who gave them the gift of their breath. If you are your own creator, you have to hold onto your life. It is all you have. When you understand that life flows from a Divine source, you know the One who gives life will sustain and keep you. Generosity flows from an abundant heart when life comes from an Abundant Giver.
Ronald Friesen © 2015