Generosity and Prosperity

"A generous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed."  Proverbs 11:25

Our selfishness plays a dastardly trick on us.

It lies to us and promises us that if we will keep, hoard, and protect all our resources, possessions, and money, then those things will make us happy.

This is a BIG FAT LIE. 

If you want to prosper in this life, the secret is to be generous.  Good, old-fashioned generosity in the form of giving; giving your time, your encouragement, your money, your heart.  According to Proverbs, we are refreshed when we refresh others.

We are blessed when we bless others.  We find joy when our generosity brings joy to others.

This is where the promoters of the so-called "prosperity gospel" miss the point.  The big idea is not that we can be financially rich by giving money away.  That is way too small-minded and not nearly robust enough to satisfy the human soul's desire for meaning and purpose.

The big idea is that I am already RICH IN CHRIST and as a result, I practice a life of generosity that God uses to refresh others, encourage others, inspire others, rescue others from poverty and despair, and ultimately glorify Christ and bring me joy.

Prosperity is more about WHO I AM and less about WHAT I HAVE.  If I correctly understand that I have been given the greatest gift in all of human history (salvation and new life in Jesus Christ), then that act of generosity from God to me changes me so fundamentally that I want to spend the rest of my life blessing others with the things I have in my power to give away. 

For you, it could be a spare bedroom that you aren't using.  There may be a single mom in your community who barely makes it working 3 jobs and you have the ability to liberate her to a life of joy by your generosity.

For you it could be a car.  You have more vehicles than you can drive at one time, and someone in your church cannot afford to fix the only car they have.  You have the ability to live out the gospel by handing them the keys, no strings attached.

For you it could be 50 books from your library (pastor) that you will never read.  It could be our Christmas bonus given to a church-planter.  It could be a check sent to a missions agency.  It could be a phone call to a friend who is struggling or a cup of coffee and an hour of your time listening to a co-worker who is depressed. 

Here is what I know: Generosity precedes prosperity.  And prosperity is about WHO I AM (a rich, generous child of God) and not WHAT I HAVE.

What practical ways can you be generous today?

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