Hands up if you have ever given something out of pressure, guilt, or obligation.
Over the past month, God has brought along my path many passages in the Bible with the theme: about giving what you have in your hand, what you have already.
Not offering things we don’t have.
Not giving to the point of being generous on credit.
But to give others what we already have in our hand.
If it had been just one verse, I may have skipped over it.
But the message has come in loud and clear for me this month. A theme began to develop about giving and how God sees generosity.
Let’s be honest: There is much need in the world – it is endless.
The needs outweigh the capacity, or so it feels sometimes. (who is with me?)
People will take and take and take and take as much as you have and then some.
Some of us have merciful hearts and would give the shirt off our back if we could, and sometimes have.
As a Christian woman, the pressure seems to intensify.
It’s good and right to give selflessly. Be servant-hearted and give of yourself – isn’t it?
Or is it?
The word teaches us to be wise and discerning when giving to others.
But what does wise and discerning generosity look like?
This sent me further into the guidebook for life. My bible.
I found the answers to my questions highlighted in His word. He has planted them everywhere!!!
That’s why I read things like 2 Corinthians 8:12, “For if the willingness is there, the gift is acceptable according to what one has, not according to what one does not have.”
Or in 2 Corinthians 9:7, “Each of you should give what you have decided in your hearts to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.”
God will provide generously and more – You’ll have everything you need and more to share!
In Acts 3:6, it reads, “I don’t have silver or gold, but what I have, I give to you.”
I know finance can be a sensitive subject, but God’s definition of generosity includes more than just money.
It’s also our energy, our time, our words, encouragement, prayers, and so much more.
What would you add to this list?
In 2 Corinthians 8:12, I love how it says, “Whatever you give is acceptable if you give it eagerly. And give according to what you have, not what you don’t have.”
Be encouraged. God never intended us to give out of pressure, social rules, or obligation.
I believe He wanted us to be so near to Him that generosity would become a part of our wiring. That we would know (by His promptings) when to give (and when not to).
This week I’ve had several opportunities to give, but because of what He’s been showing me, I’ve paused. I didn’t give more than what I felt prompted to give when my heart wasn’t moved to give.
Giving more than what He put on my heart in the past depleted me. Physically, the inflammation in my body would increase, and I’d become an all-around Miss Cranky Pants with my loved ones.
It feels good to give. It feels great to be part of someone’s answer to their problem.
But we were never designed for this; there is a better way!
Jesus is the answer. Our role is to draw near, align, give generously and cheerfully as prompted.
Be encouraged, whether you are a multi-millionaire or have pennies.
Whether you have oodles of energy or are running on fumes.
Whether you have no spare time at all or have the whole week available.
If we are generous with what we DO have (as inspired by Him), God is well pleased with our offering. He endorses our gifts.
You and I have access to what He asks of us! He won’t request anything more than what’s in our possession or reach. I found this truth to be freeing in my giving!
How about you?