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Discipleship

The Character of Generosity

By Dr. Richard J. Krejcir
Allows us to give to others because God has given abundantly to us.

Generosity (Deuteronomy 16:17; Proverbs 11:24-25; 13:7; Matthew 10:8; 2 Corinthians 9: 6-15) allows us to give to others because God has given abundantly to us. It is the wise use of stewardship and the attitude that all possessions belong to God. We are merely the caretakers for His purpose. It will see the Lord as the Source of true blessing, not our selfish desires.

Greed, Stinginess, Selfishness and Miserliness are the opposites. These rotten fruits rot because we hoard them and do not use them properly as Christ called us to do. This blocks the flow of God's blessings and 'living water' from flowing in us. We will become stagnant and useless to the Kingdom or the people around us. Pride and arrogance will be the driving force, the quintessential things that God hates the most (Proverbs 6:16-18)!

One of the things I both love and hate to do is go out to lunch with a bunch of Christians. I love the fellowship, but when it comes to tip time, I, as the pastor usually end up paying the tip, then hear complaints from waitresses about how stingy the various church groups are! When will we learn, as a Church, that our actions enable us to point others to the way to the Lord, and give us the ability to repel others from Him!

Generosity is the realization we have His living water (John 4; 7:38) flowing in us. To keep it fresh, it must flow out of us, too! The Dead Sea in Israel is dead. There is no life is in it because it has no outlet. It has a river flowing into it, but the water remains there, and becomes stagnated with harsh salts and minerals to the point that nothing can live or grow there. When we are stingy, we become like the Dead Sea--stagnant and lifeless. The living water within us will quickly become stagnant, like a mud puddle with mosquito larvae growing in it, useless, and even dangerous.

Generosity is an example of our trust and reliance on God. Because He has given so much to us, way beyond what we can comprehend, we can therefore be charitable with others. This is an act of worship--to model Christ, and see the big picture that goods and material things are not important, but relationships are. This goes to giving back to God, providing to those who have less, and making sure your church is modeling this character. A selfish church that does not give, and only sees themselves as a charity, will become a Dead Sea rather quickly. How sad and pathetic that would be--an unconcerned, uncaring, and self-absorbed quandary to the neighborhood, and a disgrace to the Kingdom!

Let yourself be a rich and growing reservoir, overflowing like a fountain of living water that refreshes and encourages all those around you (Eph. 5:18). This will be your sweetness and virtue to others, which will point them to God and be a welcome mat to the Christian life.

Is the Character of Generosity working in you?
 
Here is how you can find out. Take a careful look at this character and Fruit of Generosity from God's most precious Word by examining the passages below. Now ask yourself:
  1. How do I exhibit Generosity in my daily life?
  2. What can I do to develop a mindset to know that all I have in life belongs to God, and, since He supplies all I have and need, I can model His grace through being Generous?
  3. What blocks me from being Generous?
  4. How can I make Generosity function better, stronger, and faster, even in times of uncertainly and stress?
Further Questions
  1. How would you define Generosity?
  2. What are the things that cause you to be stingy with what God gives you?
  3. How does greed counteract Generosity?
  4. What happens to our relationship with God, and with others, when we refuse to see all that we have is His?
  5. When have you most been filled with Generosity?
  6. In what situation did you fail to be Generous when you should have been?
  7. What issue is in your life now, that would improve with being more Generous?
  8. Think through the steps you need to take to put Generosity into action in a specific instance. If you are not a giving or hospitable person, seek to discover why. You are blocking God's work in you. How can you release your selfish attitudes, and embrace the flowing in and out of His work in you? The lack of Generosity will reflect a lack of faith and obedience! If you think there are no rivers coming into you, then seek what is blocking them. Is it sin, attitude, fear….? God blesses those who steadfastly embrace His call, and who stay true to Christ
·Here are positive examples from Scripture (Exodus 36:2-7; Luke 7:44-8:3; 10:33-37; 21:1-4; 2 Corinthians 8:1-7)

·Here are negative examples from Scripture (Haggai 1:2-9; Malachi 3:8-12; Matthew 25:31-46; 26:6-13)

We need to stop looking for approval from society, and seek His approval. Character will be the fruit of that endeavor!
 
© 2002, Richard J. Krejcir, Ph.D. Schaeffer Institute of Church Leadership, www.churchleadership.org
© 2007 - 2018 Institute of Church Leadership Development - All Rights Reserved.
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