01 Nov Heart of Generosity – Nov 14
By Yosia Yusuf
What is wrong with being rich?
There is nothing wrong with being rich. The Bible never condemns anyone for being rich. In fact, the Old Testament is filled with characters that are very rich in possession. You won’t find many of them in the New Testament but they are there. In his letter to Timothy, Paul writes that “the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils.” He never said money is the root but the love of money is.
Paul then goes on to give direction on how the rich should live their life. So the Bible never speaks against having wealth but the Bible does speak on what to do with our wealth. “They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share.”
What does it mean to be generous?
To be generous means to use your wealth in such a way that look past beyond this world and look to the eternal treasure that is provided for you. It does not mean to sell all you have and give it away (unless the Lord tells you to do so), but it does mean to prioritize helping other people over fattening self.
The command to be generous is not a command to not enjoy life but it’s a command to “take hold of that which is truly life.” There is a way of life that gives temporary satisfaction but no lasting significance. Paul commands the rich to not live that way but to live life in such a way that will bring eternal significance, even if it costs you temporary satisfaction. By doing so, you will find true life.
How can I be generous?
Generosity is more than an act of giving; it’s a state of heart. You can give away everything you have but it does not guarantee you have a generous heart. You can give in order to receive acknowledgment from others. So generosity is not about how much you give but how you give. It’s not a matter of the will but it’s a matter of heart.
So how can we be generous? Paul’s answer is for the rich “not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy.” We become generous by putting our hope on God, who richly provides us with everything. Every part of life that we enjoy comes from God. And that enjoyment is only meaningful because God has sent His beloved son to die and deliver us from death to life. So we do not become generous by willing alone, but by putting our hope in the generous God who has given us his best. ”He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?” (Romans 8:32).
*article is based on 1 Timothy 6:17-19