What is generosity? How does it differ from "tithing"? How do I make sure that the money I give is going to good use? This week, we dive into these questions and more as we explore the topic of generosity.
Why do we miss this crucial aspect in evaluating our charitable work? Because, as compassionate people, we have been evaluating our charity by the reward we receive through service, rather than the benefits received by the served.. ~ Robert Lupton Toxic Charity
You should practice the latter without neglecting the former.. ~ Matthew 23:23
Called to be generous
Our generosity isn’t just to the person who we like or who can repay us. We are called to be generous to those who can’t repay and even those we consider our enemy.
The only way to truly honour God with your finances is to…become generous in giving, but to do that well you first have to climb off the throne of your own life. ~ Searcy & Heron
Jesus has come to give us boundless love and grace.
We are to be indiscriminately dispensing love and grace, as well as our natural resource.
Generous giving is not about doling our extra amounts of money. It is about reorienting the human heart in the direction of Christ so that we become transmitters of the same affection and care that Christ modelled in his time. ~ Gordon MacDonald
First, generosity is sacrificial. God’s gift of Jesus Christ came through a sacrifice.
Second, whether or not a gift is generous depends upon the attitude with which it is given.
Third, a truly generous gift primarily benefits the person receiving it. ~ Andrew Gabriel
The farmers tithes off their harvest, and the excess that remains in the field, as well as the corners, are to supply the needs of those who have no food.
Without us even knowing it we often strip value from people through our generosity.
For disadvantaged people to flourish into their God-given potential, they must leave behind dependencies that impede their growth. Initiatives that thwart their development, though rightly motivated, must be restricted to reinforce self-sufficiency if they are to become agents of lasting and positive change. ~ Robert Lupton
If Jesus came to break the cycles of brokenness in our lives and speak to the systemic issues, should we not do the same?
And when we respond to a chronic need as though it were a crisis, we can predict toxic results: dependency, deception, disempowerment. ~ Robert Lupton
We need to throw out the criteria out the window and obey the nudges in our spirit.
The General Rule
May we do no harm.
- Reflect Christ
- Be Smart
next week – A brand New Series — Joshua
Anchor Group Questions
Hangout Warming up to the topic
- As we begin to discuss generosity, what are some questions you have?
Hear Listen to God through Scripture
- Read Luke 6:33-36
- What thoughts or feelings do you have as you read 33-36?
- How can you begin to show generosity to your enemies?
- Read Leviticus 19:9-10
- What thoughts or feelings do you have as you read 9-10?
- How would can this manifest in your life?
- Read Matthew 25:31-46
- What are your thoughts/feelings as you read 31-46?
Huddle Make it personal and pray together
- What has God been saying to you through this week’s teaching? Talk about the next steps in your life and pray for each other.
- How can we be a safe place for others—a place to be known and loved?