When we’ve humbled ourselves, asked questions, truly listened, stayed in uncomfortable situations, dealt with our neighbor’s reality, and allowed a friendship to grow, love and generosity are appropriate (and usually welcomed). When we give freely, we aren’t holding back. We aren’t worried about whether there will be enough to go around. We are living from the perspective that every good gift is from God (James 1:17), so we can hold our gifts lightly and offer them back to God
to be used for his purposes.
The underlying spirit of giving freely and generously, is gratitude. As Christians we give because we’ve received. We know grace is a gift, and out of appreciation or gratitude we are compelled to give to those around us. Not because they’ve earned it but because we know every good thing we have belongs to God anyway.
When we give thanks freely to God for the gifts he has provided, we walk through our days with a lighter spirit. We are more aware of what we have. We are grateful people because we know we have been reconciled to God through Christ. He has given us life twice over, and this is good news, regardless of what our day or stress level holds. Out of gratitude for these enormous gifts, we desire to return that generous love to our neighbors. We want to thank God by loving the people he loves with our attention, time, influence, skills, and resources. We also give mercy, grace, and forgiveness for the same reason.
Love God and others. It’s a simple concept but not always simple to carry out. Giving freely can feel loaded. How do we simply give? What is appropriate? How much of ourselves do we offer? Who are we responsible to? For each of us, this is a spiritual journey of asking God to direct us. If every good thing we have is from him, we are merely stewards waiting for an opportunity to do his work this side of heaven.
Though we may know these truths in our heads, we work out the realities in our hearts and actions. That is what this life of faith is. But if God calls us to love a neighbor in a particular way, he will give us what we need to do it. With that understanding we can give freely.
Where is God asking you to be more generous?