Over and over again this morning the theme ‘generosity’ called me to meditate.
For some reason, I often equate generosity with spontaneity. I don’t know why and I don’t think that is right. A generous person may, on the spur of the moment or at the invitation to a particular timely need, prove her generous spirit by giving sacrificially. But as I read this chapter I saw generosity as planned giving.
The Corinthians, when they heard about a need, ‘pledged’ a bold generous amount to help the Lord’s people. It was a gift that necessitated time to pull together. It was a generous pledge that required time to fulfill. Meanwhile Paul was using their pledge of a gift to spur on others, particularly people in Macedonia.
Now Paul was writing a reminder that it was time to collect on the pledged generosity.
I see in this example that generosity can take a habit… giving regularly, proportionally, consistently, faithfully, and cheerfully over a long time leads to generosity.
As I mull over this observation, I hits me that everyday regular people can cultivate generosity. The Corinthians were ordinary people, many were even poor, and yet, because they regularly gave proportionally, their gifts proved to be generous.
I could do that. If the Corinthians did that anyone can do that.
Generosity is cultivated through regular habitual faithful giving.
Lord, stir me to deeper generosity to Your work and work that honors You and cares for people in need.
Jesus as 2016 ends this evening and 2017 dawns, place a resolve in me to cultivate generosity in the New Year. I pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.