Gift #3: The Gift of Generosity
The gift of generosity is a natural overflow from the gift of gratitude. Once we can see our blessings and are thankful for them we cannot help but be generous. Generosity has less to do with money and more to do with heart and spirit. Sometimes people feel they do not have enough to be generous but when they achieve whatever… well, then they can begin to be generous. And there are a lot of whens….when I get a pay rise, when I have finished saving for … when the children are grown up… you get the picture. However, the time to be generous is now!
The Bible has a bit to say about giving. After all God gave to the world His most treasured gift and that gift, Christ, sacrificed Himself to reconcile us with heaven. This is where the whole idea of gift giving at Christmas began.
The benefits of generosity are evident in science too!
1. Generosity of almost every imaginable type lies deep within human nature according to a recent study by sociologists.
2. Generosity has now been determined to also be something of personal benefit by giving us happiness,
3. Being generous has physical and mental health benefits, and
4. Generosity benefits individuals as well as the community.
Every good gift comes from God and He is happy when we give but in His wisdom He lets us decide when, how and how much to give, the only request is that we give cheerfully.
There are many opportunities for us to give and the laws of the universe are that the more generous we are in giving the more generously we receive. Sometimes our poverty comes not from the little we have but from the little we are prepared to give and share. The purpose of generosity is to reduce the distance between the haves and the have nots.
I include a song “There Is A Sea” which we sing in church, it compares two bodies of water in Israel, the Sea of Galilee and the Dead Sea and the likens them to two kinds of people.
I. Stanza 1 mentions the Sea of Galilee
There is a sea which day by day receives the rippling rills,
And streams that spring from wells of God or fall from cedared hills;
But what it thus receives it gives with glad unsparing hand;
A stream more wide, with deeper tide flows on to lower land.
II. Stanza 2 mentions the Dead Sea
There is a sea which day by day receives a fuller tide;
But all its store it keeps, nor gives to shore nor sea beside;
Its Jordan stream, now turned to brine lies heavy as molten lead;
Its dreadful name doth e’er proclaim that sea is waste and dead.
III. Stanza 3 applies this comparison to us
Which shall it be for you and me, who God’s good gifts obtain?
Shall we accept for self alone, or take to give again?
For He who once was rich indeed laid all His glory down,
That by His grace, our ransomed race should share His wealth and crown.
“There Is A Sea” was included in Jorgenson’s 1937 Great Songs of the Church No. 2.
So shall we accept for self alone, or take to give again?
I wish you a Christmas full of very cheerful Generosity.