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Generosity: Proportionate to How You Have Been Materially Blessed
From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.”
Imagine a front desk attendant at a charity opening mail. As she opens one of the envelopes, a wrinkled five-dollar bill falls out with a note attached to it. The note reads simply, “This is all I have to give you, I’m sorry it can’t be more. Yours truly, Mr. Smith.” The attendant is touched by the effort. True, five dollars won’t accomplish a lot at the charity; but it appears that the benefactor has sacrificed tremendously to be able to give to the work of the charity. It is this kind of sacrifice, she thinks to herself, from which we can all learn.
Now imagine that later, while telling her co-workers of the touching deed she mentions Mr. Smith’s name, and one of her co-workers says, “Wait, isn’t that Mr. Smith the multimillionaire?” Suddenly, what went from a very touching and inspirational deed becomes not only less spectacular; but, also even deceitful and pathetic. The rich man, not wanting to actually part with his wealth decided that he would just made it look like he had. What was once so commendable suddenly became downright reproachable.
The Bible teaches that in life, those to whom much has been given will have much expected of them (Luke 12:48). There is no percentage or exact figure in the New Testament for what a Christian is to give; but there is certainly an expectation that we give proportionate to what we have. If you have not yet learned to live generously with what you have, consider whether, perhaps, the Lord may want you to change the way you live and the way you give. I can’t tell you exactly what you should do because the Bible doesn’t say so; but, if you are a believer and the Spirit is pricking your conscience, maybe it’s time you stopped sending wrinkled five dollar bills and stepped forward to the generous life your God has made you capable of living.
Today’s Generosity Challenge:
Today, I want you to view your checkbook or bank statement again. This time calculate the last six to twelve months expenditures versus giving before you started your giving journey. What is your real percentage? No cheating – the real number of givings of cash vs. all other gross expenditures. Now, take a big post-it note and put it on your refrigerator. Oh, and remember to write it down, too, here on Day 13 of your journey.
About Michael Stickler
Mike is an author, radio host, and a highly sought after motivational speaker. His best-selling book, A Journey to Generosity, is widely acclaimed throughout the Christian community. He is the publisher of Generous Living Magazine and writes for the Christian Post, 'A Generous Life' column.