My wife first told me this, and I thought it was brilliant when she said it. She said…
THERE ARE GIVERS AND THERE ARE TAKERS. AND EVERYONE THINKS THEY’RE A GIVER.
We are in a crucial place at a critical hour. We are living in a time pregnant with possibility. But to continue down a path where we seek primarily people and structures that will give TO us, is to simply place a bandaid on a cancer that is growing beyond the scope of any abundant life we hope to experience.
The answer to so much of everything we’re challenged with – from our relationships to our churches to our politics to our cranky co-workers – is to take ourselves, pour the depths of our souls and skills and passions into our own cupped and shaking hands, and then offer all of it out into the spaces that God has placed in our paths in that moment. It won’t feel clean or formulaic, but rather messy and insecure. We’ll fail and we’ll succeed.
That’s what we’re really talking about here. And nowhere in the Gospels does John declare, “For God so loved the world, He took ______.”
Generosity is not a tweak.
Generosity is not a program.
Generosity is not a checklist.
Generosity is not a category.
Generosity is not something to add to your workday.
Generosity is a new and ancient way of existing, of seeing, and of experiencing life. It’s a heart condition that wants to want to believe that God really will take care of our every need, especially when we are generous with the things we have the tightest grip on.
Because when we are generous with our lives, we will indeed pour the very presence of Jesus Himself. It can’t get any clearer than Jesus’s words in Matthew 24:40…
“Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.”
When we give to people, we give to Christ Himself. There is no higher purpose, no higher calling, no higher end. We serve God Himself when we give ourselves away to the legitimate needs of the people around us.
And if you’ve fallen under the spell that’s been cast over people, proclaiming that we need to be rich to be generous, then you’ll need to think again. It truly is the lie above all lies. Some of the most generous people I know are also the poorest of the poor.
IT DOESN’T TAKE MONEY TO BE GENEROUS. IT TAKES COURAGE TO BE GENEROUS.
And this I know to be certain – I know that any remaining concerns, any questions left unanswered, or any nagging doubts will simply disappear somewhere in every beautiful act of generosity.