Today, I want to share with you some thoughts on generosity and giving. Growing up, my parents really drilled into me the importance of tithing, or of giving the first ten percent of my income to the work of God. It is something that I believe firmly in, and although I don’t think the percentage is as important as how much you sacrifice, I have seen Jesus respond to generosity time and time again. As we move from the bondage of a mindset of scarcity to sufficiency, we can and will witness Him expanding our territory and opening up the floodgates of blessing!
Now, I’m often hesitant to talk about giving as a televangelist because the number one criticism that people throw at us (which, by the way, is well-earned) is that we talk too much about money. However, my attempt is not to manipulate you for my benefit, I simply want you to understand that generosity is a good thing — something that we as Christians are all supposed to practice. Because Jesus gave so much to us, we are commanded to and commended for giving bountifully.
I was recently in Hong Kong and while we were there to show appreciation for our friends and supporters in that country, they ended up throwing us a Thanksgiving feast because they knew our Thanksgiving holiday was coming up soon. Since they understand very little about the holiday, they were asking me questions about it — one woman in particular. As I explained it to her, I was impressed by the fact that a tradition that is rooted in thankfulness has become an opportunity to gorge ourselves and consume more than we would on a normal day. This is not how it’s supposed to be! Generosity, not greed, is a natural outgrowth of true thanksgiving and it shouldn’t only be the case one day of the year.
Friend, if you’re a thankful person and you live in gratitude for what God has done for you, you will be generous. It’s like math problem; one equates to the other. You can’t be grateful and be stingy, scarce, greedy, angry or envious — the two just don’t go together! A heart that’s afraid will never have enough, but a heart that overflows with faith in Jesus’ goodness will be at peace, knowing that He will always provide more than enough. Isn’t that fantastic news?