You know those people who seem generous by nature? They’re the ones who give coins to beggars, buy tickets to friend’s shows, and treat you to dessert just because. They don’t seem to have any problem letting money out of their sight and, in fact, seem quite happy to see it go.
On the opposite end of the spectrum are people a little more like me: penny pinchers. I love my pennies and I want to collect them and wrap them and spend them on groceries. I want to count every one, lest one go to waste under the refrigerator. Each month I take my pennies and spread them out so each bill is covered. Anything left is stashed away until the next month. In case of a rainy day extra spending (or giving) is O-U-T.
“Am I a naturally generous person? No. Do I have a desire to be? If I’m honest…not really.”
My way of approaching money is fantastic when saving for things. However, it’s horrible when an opportunity for generosity comes up. Like in 2 Corinthians. It’s mentioned so many times in chapters eight and nine I used to feel guilty just reading the words. Am I a naturally generous person? No. Do I have a desire to be? If I’m honest…not really. Do I need an attitude adjustment? I think so.
Here’s the truth about generosity in a way I can connect with it. “Remember: A stingy planter gets a stingy crop; a lavish planter gets a lavish crop. I want each of you to take plenty of time to think it over, and make up your own mind what you will give. That will protect you against sob stories and arm-twisting. God loves it when the giver delights in the giving” (2 Corinthians 9:6-7 The Message).
There’s no doubt about it, God wants us to be generous with the things he has lavished upon us (see Ephesians 1:7-9, 1 John 3:1-3). Maybe it’s money, maybe it’s something else. The point is, when we are told to sow generously with the gifts we have received we are also told we will reap much from that act of obedience.
So now that I know the truth I’m one step closer to becoming a generous person. I know I won’t change overnight, but at least I know what I’m supposed to do. And I trust I’ll have many opportunities to practice.