As we know, the one who sows sparingly also reaps sparingly. Therefore, since the opposite is also true, Christians possess a powerful motivation for generosity (2 Corinthians 9:6). Yet, there remain those times we may be tempted to restrict sharing the gifts entrusted to us due to our self-imposed fear of limited reserves. Thankfully, selfish tendencies are broken as we faithfully sow seed in three primary areas:
Philanthropy: When we fear losing what we have, our willingness to give often diminishes. However, when we realize our abundance in Christ, our eagerness to share explodes for we no longer worry about what we have, but what we get to give to the benefit of others and the promotion of God’s priorities. Is there anything we tend to cling too tightly due to a mindset of limited reserve? Let’s try unclenching our hands and allow the gifts we’ve been given serve to bless others – for one day, we too may have need (2 Corinthians 8:14).
Provision: When we depend upon our own resources in order to stimulate our giving, we’ll always be restricted by how much, or how little we may have. Do we view our time, talents and treasures as things we generate, or as gifts from God we’re called to steward? When we realize all we have flows from His endless supply, we’re empowered to give without any regard to our reserves, for we know His gifts are not for hoarding, but for sharing (2 Corinthians 9:8).
Praise: What’s a distinct difference between the generosity of Christians living on mission for Christ and nonbelievers? It typically centers on who gets the praise (Matthew 5:16). For example, is it the person, institution, or God? Consider – do we give to receive recognition, or to reflect the generosity of God and express praise for all He’s done in our own lives?
Application: “Kingdom Harvest” – Galatians 6:8
When our motivations to give are to promote God’s Kingdom over our own, God is glorified, the giver grows and the gospel goes. As children of God, we are being transformed to the likeness of our Father, who was and is the ultimate expression of giving. Therefore, can there be such a thing as a “stingy” child of God?