Who is the most generous person you know? Take a minute to think about it.
We all love generous people: the ones that offer to pick up the bill for dinner, the ones who do really great Christmas and birthday gifts, the ones who just seem to always have some money to share with you.
So, who do you think is the most generous person in the world?
Well, the chances are, it’s going to be the richest people, right? While it does help to have a lot, in order to give a lot, an article from the Independent newspaperprovided a helpful “Generosity Index” showing how much the richest have given away in relation to their current net worth. While he only sits at No. 5 in terms of amount given (a mere $6.3 billion), Charles Feeney, the ‘James Bond of giving’, has given away 420,000 percent of his current net worth. An extraordinary achievement, by any standards.
Whether we have $6.3 billion (and if you do, let me know ASAP), $63 or $0.63, Christians have a God-spoken mandate to be the most generous people we can. We have a generous God – “For God so loved that he GAVE…” – and should reflect his image by our giving.
“Ah, but we can be generous in many ways!” you say. And, you’re right. We should be generous with our time, generous with our attention, generous in love, and generous in grace. Yet, the Bible also speaks to our treasure, for it is there that our hearts lie.
1 Timothy 4 says:
Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.”
If you’re reading this, then you class as “rich in the present life” because you have access to the Internet. This is a direct address to you and I, and a challenging one at that.
Paul even addresses one of the fears we have about generosity – the fear that we won’t have enough. Wealth is uncertain, so we grab onto it.
Christians should live differently – wealth is uncertain, so we give it away. In doing so, we receive more than money; we lay up eternal treasures that are NOT uncertain and can never be lost.