Pastor’s Column: The Power of Generosity
It is possible to give without loving but it is impossible to love without giving! I want to be a conduit of God’s love. One of the ways we express God’s love to those around us is by being generous with our time and resources. Winston Churchill said, “We make a living at what we get, we make a life by what we give.”
I have a holy discontent. I have been blessed with so much and yet so often feel like I have so little extra money to give. I often receive support letters for various giving opportunities and want to lavishly give, but the needs exceed my ability.
When I am being totally transparent as to what holds me back in being more generous, it’s that I’m just afraid sometimes. It is simply fear. Fear that I may not have enough for my family. So if I give more to others in need or various ministries and then thoughts like, “what if our car needs repairs, or our kids need something” and so on. I can “What if” me out of all kinds of giving opportunities.
I have come to realize that the more I have the harder it is to surrender everything to God. When I was a teen or a single young adult it was much easier to surrender all to the Lord. Basically because I didn’t have much to surrender to him! Let’s be honest – THE MORE YOU AND I HAVE, THE MORE WE HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT AND BE FEARFUL ABOUT GIVING. It is easy for me, and maybe most of us, to think that somehow I can create a financial security for me/my family and if I become too generous, I can lose control.
Have you ever thought about God asking you: “How much money would I have to give you to get $1,000 back? $50k? $10K? In other words, God would be asking: “Are you a good investment?” The Lord might be able to give to somebody else a whole lot less, in order to get those funds into circulation in His Kingdom. Convicting thought and good question!
Here’s another good question – Have you invited God into your personal finances? I know I have prayed about finances many time. But wait there’s more, did you know that giving and generosity is what INVITES God into your finances. How? Example: If the bottom falls out of your finances, I bet, if you’re like me, your going to pray something like this “God please get very involved in my personal finances – I need your help!”
You won’t say to God, “God I don’t need your help, because I passed up a couple of giving opportunities.”
In addition, being generous is about more than just giving away money. Chuck Bentley, CEO – Crown Financial Ministries shared years ago that the account of Abram in Genesis 12-14 provides six examples of generosity that we can put into practice right now.
- Care for those in need around you.
- Accept less to settle a dispute.
- Help those who have been foolish.
- Give generously to the Lord.
- Bless those who work with you.
- Have the right attitude about money.
God is calling us to freely share His love, grace, and mercy and to be a blessing to our family, friends, co-workers, the poor—and even people who are suffering because of their foolish behavior. There is such power in being generous. Others are encouraged and blessed and we are blessed being used of the Lord to meet the needs of others. Whatever our current situation may be, we must remember Abram’s model of generosity and respond to God’s call. After all, Martin Luther said, “The heart of the giver is what makes the gift dear and precious.”
Pastor Bill Goodwin serves as lead pastor at Lighthouse Christian in Rosemount, MN. Prior to coming to Lighthouse is 2004, he served on staff at Community Church of Joy in Glendale, AZ and Hosanna! in Lakeville, MN. He has been credentialed and involved with International Ministerial Fellowship (IMF) since 2002.
Our Pastor’s Column Generosity Series is sponsored by Thrivent Financial.