Being generous is more than another way to be a nice person. A generous life is at the core of what it means to become like our heavenly Father, and the first step is tithing.
God’s word is so rich when it comes to instructions on money, stewardship, generosity, and the Kingdom. A holistic theology of money goes beyond the tithe. It explores the connection between grace and giving. In fact, God’s amazing generosity to His creation is one narrative woven throughout Scripture. From creation to the fall to redemption and ultimately glorification, God’s generous nature to His people should motivate us to follow His example. Because He is a generous God, we should be generous people.
There is a strong connection between God’s Kingdom and our possessions. If Christians really believe this life is short, and eternity is long, then the most logical way to deal with money and possessions is to live simply and give generously. To “store up for yourselves treasures in heaven” as Jesus commanded in the Sermon on the Mount. To “take hold of the life that is truly life” through generosity of deeds and money as Paul commanded Timothy. The intersection of money and eternity creates generosity when viewed in the light of God’s Kingdom.
God really does own it all. His ownership covers our time, talent, treasure, relationships, and truth. When He says “Give,” our response as managers should be immediate and without question. If He calls us to joyfully surrender a possession, then He has our best interests at heart and we can trust Him. One way to view the tithe is simply the training wheels or the starting point of a generous life. It’s not the end game; it’s just the dress rehearsal. And as you begin to see a holistic view of money, possessions, and the Kingdom of God, then generosity will flow naturally, joyfully, and excitedly.