| The following post titled 'A Meaningful Life: A Generous People' is based on our Meaning of Life series across C3 Sydney's 11 Locations |
"For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him."
John 3:16-17 (NLT)
We want our lives to be meaningful and a meaningful life is a generous life. This is because God is generous and when He created us, He created us to reflect His image and nature – His generosity. When parents see the mess their children have made (sometimes in a room they all tidied minutes ago), is that how God feels about us and our fallen world? Parents usually demand that the mess be cleaned up but God’s response is to love. He gave us His only son, Jesus to bring redemption to humanity.
Conductor vs. Insulator
With God’s generous nature inside us, we are to conduct it to others. Just like we control where electricity goes (flows through conductors or stops at insulators), so we can control what happens when God’s love is poured out in our lives. Matthew 10:8 tells us to give as freely as we’ve received -to be a conductor not an insulator.
In Luke 11:42 we see that generosity was not a requirement of God’s law, it is an alignment of the heart. Generosity is an overflow of a true understanding of what God has done for us. The more you love God the more you love people.
Look at the example of Philemon. In this letter Paul is writing to Philemon, who had had a slave (quite normal in those times) who ran away. The slave met Paul and became a Christian. Paul was writing to remind Philemon of his commitment to generosity in Christ as Paul sent the slave back to him. How genuine is your partnership of generosity if you meet the man who ripped you off? To see him as a brother in Christ requires mercy but this is what we are called to do.
Live ready to love
Christians can be dismayed by this fallen world and be unkind and judgemental. But this is not God’s way – His way is to remember that He is the only judge and He judges people by the heart. Our job is to extend His love to others and let Him change them. Be generous with words of hope and encouragement. Stay sweet spirited.
Fear is often what stops us from generosity: the fear that there’s only enough for you. We try to “hold it all together” and let fear dictate your level of generosity with our time and energy. We were created for flow, to be open and ready to love and give. In the Lord’s prayer “Your kingdom come” comes before “my daily bread”. Seek first the kingdom of God and hold onto the promise of 1 Kings 17:16: there was always enough. We are called to be agents of generosity for God.
Something to talk about:
- Have you been on the receiving end of generosity? How did it make you feel?
- When did you first experience God’s mercy/generosity to you?
- Is there some area where you’ve been reluctant to be generous? How can God’s promises dispel fear?