“And all who believed were together and had all things in common. And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need” (Acts 2:44-45)
An amazing picture of generosity comes from the very beginning of the Church, just after Jesus ascended into Heaven.
“And all who believed were together and had all things in common. And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need” (Acts 2:44-47, emphasis added).
Wow, what an image of people caring for specific needs of each other. People saw the need, and met the need. Generosity is a willingness to give of yourself to others regularly and sacrificially for the good of mankind to meet physical, spiritual and emotional needs.
Allow me to illustrate what generosity is further through five “G” words:
Getting: Some people get for themselves. Some people get for others. Which are you? Remember as Christians we get to give.
Giving: Of your time, talents, and treasure. Generosity encompasses all three of these. Some of us are in a position to do more than others, and that’s okay. It should always be a combination of the three.
Going: Sometimes generosity is about stepping out of your comfort zone to do something you’re bit unaccustomed to doing. Whether it’s going into the city to help the homeless, or getting on a plane and going on a mission trip to a third-world country.
Gleaning: Learning. Be discerning and effective with your generosity. You can’t meet every need yourself and unfortunately some generous people get taken advantage of. Think critically about your giving and where to invest your time, talent, and treasure for the Kingdom.
Growing: In your ability to be more consistent, more systematic, more regular in your giving and generosity.
The Old Testament taught tithing, where you would give 10% of what you earned back to the Temple (after all, it comes from God anyway). The New Testament on the other hand turns up the dial, so to speak. Look back at the passage from Acts 2:44-45. People were selling entire pieces of property and giving the proceeds away to those who needed it. The New Testament models lavish generosity. 10% is a great benchmark to start, not a place to end in your generosity. We should always be growing.
When we’re thankful for what God has done in our lives and begin living generously, we discover the second characteristic of a generous heart: a generous heart races to meet the needs of others.