By Justin Ghere
It can be a scary thought to live generously. Financial security is very important to me, so one of my fears is that if I am too generous or give too sacrificially, that I will not be prepared for what the future may hold. Whenever these kinds of thoughts try taking control of my mind, I bring myself back to reading 1 Timothy 6:17-19:
“As for the rich in this present age, charge them 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. They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, thus storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is truly life.”
It’s amazing when I read these verses because it seems like Paul was writing to me.
I need to be reminded to set my hope in God alone as opposed to my salary. I need to be reminded that I should strive to be rich in good works as opposed to rich in my net worth. I need to be reminded to invest in my future by living generously and sharing with others as opposed to contributing more money to my retirement account. Once I am reminded of these truths, I shift my focus from earthly goals to eternal goals, and just like the last phrase of that scripture, I can “take hold of that which is truly life.”
One of the biggest causes of stress in life can originate from finances. I’ve been through unexpected situations that end with a bill I wasn’t prepared to pay at that time. During these times I could respond in one of two ways: getting angry and grumpy and feeling cheated, or realizing that the Lord will provide and I needn’t worry. In the end, I still write a check for the same amount whether I’m stressed or at peace. In the same way, living generously is a tangible way to show your faith in God’s promises and not allow your material possessions to give you a false sense of security.
While these three verses deal specifically with the idea of living generously, we see so many examples of the generosity of God through the entire Bible. The most amazing story of God’s generosity was Him freely giving grace and mercy through the work of Jesus Christ. Since we Christians have personally experienced the generosity of God, then in turn, we also should live generously to become more like Him. After all, we are called to be “imitators of God” in Ephesians 5:1. And as we become more generous, we demonstrate His character to the world.