Self-Control + Contentment + Thankfulness + Grace = Generosity
It’s November…well, almost. Today, we will live in excess. Tomorrow, our children – and, let’s be honest, our adults – will wake up with a candy hangover. We will take down the Halloween decorations, throw away the rotten pumpkins that were carved, and incorporate the non-carved pumpkins into our Thanksgiving displays.
And we will shift into a season of thankfulness, giving, and a different kind of over-indulgence (food this time…and maybe spending…).
What is it about the months of November and December that make us want to be generous?
- We think about all the great meals and desserts we get to eat, but we also give food to the poor and the hungry.
- We think about all the great gifts we give to and receive from friends and family, but we also buy gifts for strangers around the world and in our own city.
- We think about all the great time we have with loved ones, and it makes us want to visit those who are lonely, homebound, or in nursing homes to offer them some of that joy.
In a lot of ways, it’s really the most wonderful time of the year (now try and get that song out of your head :).
Extravagant generosity like this is a reflection of who our God is.
Think about how foolish this is in the eyes of the world.
- Faithful Christians give what amounts to a car payment or house payment in faithful, regular offerings. I know it sounds hokey, but it’s because their treasure is in heaven.
- Faithful Christians serve countless hours and travel around the world to serve their God by serving others. I know it sounds hokey, but it’s because they acknowledge Jesus as their primary Lord.
- Faithful Christians seek out those who the world would overlook. I know it sounds hokey, but it’s because they know every life has equal value in the eyes of God.
When followers of Jesus behave like this, it presents the world with a glimpse of the face of God. God, who is so generous that He delights in giving gifts, even to people who don’t acknowledge the Giver. God, who is so generous that our cups overflow. God, who is a constant, unfailing presence in our life.
What would it look like if every follower of Jesus Christ sought out opportunities for radical generosity?
Short answer: It would look like Jesus.