A few words on generosity
by Ruth Croft 20 November 2022
Every day on our local radio station, listeners are invited to phone in with their thoughts and comments on a particular subject. One day this week, they were discussing how the rising living costs are affecting people’s ability to give to charities. One of the studio guests commented that “You don’t have to be wealthy to be generous” and this set me thinking, especially as there has been much activity and busy-ness around the church this week, as we have prepared for our annual Gift weekend.
For the first time since November 2019 we held a Christmas Market. The event, yesterday, was well supported and it was wonderful to chat with our friends and neighbours from the local community as they browsed our various stalls for bargains. Today we are welcoming a much loved, previous minister to lead our worship before a time of fellowship together over lunch. The day will conclude with a live music and story telling event, courtesy of more wonderful friends of our church. Whilst we hope all this will raise much needed funds to enable us to continue our mission and outreach, it is also important to recognise that generosity isn’t simply about money. It is also about the willing sacrifice of time, effort and talents, either as a one-off or week in and week out, as we seek to serve our Lord.
The Bible reminds us that -
Generosity involves more than just money. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing. 1 Corinthians 13:3
Generosity is a simple act. And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased. Hebrews 13:16
Generosity teaches us to trust God. Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment.1 Timothy 6:17-19
Generosity is a blessing. …remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ Acts 20:35
These are just a few of the many words about the importance of generosity in the bible, because in the kingdom of God, people in need are just as important as those who are wealthy. Jesus sets a high standard of giving and caring for others and as we follow His example, let’s continue to look to Him as the ultimate expression of generosity and sacrifice.
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teach me to be generous;
teach me to serve You as You deserve;
to give and not to count the cost,
to fight and not to heed the wounds,
to toil and not to seek for rest,
to labour and not to seek reward
except that of knowing that I do Your Will. Amen
(attributed to St Ignatius of Loyola)