How Generous Is God?


Like God, truly generous people discover that liberality empties them of the need for self-protection or self-promotion.

1 Timothy 2:3-4

“What does she want?” we may wonder, as we watch a generous person in action. “I’m going to keep my eye on her; there’s got to be some ulterior motive at work.”

Why do these thoughts enter our head when we see someone acting generously? Perhaps because we have seen too many examples of people (including the one in the mirror) who sometimes have mixed motives for their generosity. If they give, it is to get. If they share, it is only because they have kept back plenty for themselves. If they have a tip to pass along, they have already checked it out for their own advantage before relaying it to others. Those are, unfortunately, our initial suspicions when we see an act of generosity. But after spending time around the generous-acting person, we may discover that they are actually generous. No motives, no agendas, no well-planned moves on the chess board of life and relationships. Just...well, generous.

How do we decide that a person is truly generous? They don’t play favorites, they give with no strings attached, they share every piece of news that might benefit or harm, they give more than is expected or required, and they rejoice in another’s good fortune. If it were up to them, they would want everyone to have whatever good fortune they have. Conversely, they are never envious of good fortune which goes to another instead of themselves.

In a word, generosity describes God. In requesting prayers conducive to the spread of the gospel, Paul says that God “wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.” Is there salvation to be had? Then proclaim it far and wide! Is there forgiveness of sins available? Then tell every guilty one to come and be set free! Is there a bubbling spring of cool, living water? Then bring every parched and thirsty soul! God is generous!

Like God, truly generous people discover that liberality empties them of the need for self-protection or promotion. Like God, they become defined not by what they keep, but by what they give away.

God’s Promise to You: “I promise to give all that I have and all that you need.”

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