Generosity as a Test of Courage, Part II
All followers of Jesus are called to a life of generosity. One cannot claim to be a follower of Christ and choose to be selfish or stingy. Because the example we see from Jesus is that he is fundamentally generous in giving his life for the world; so those who claim to be his people must do likewise.
But there are rules, right? There is an expectation Jesus places on us, not only that we give, but for HOW and WHY we give as well. Are we practicing generosity for the praise of others or are we doing it to please our Heavenly Father? Let’s see how Jesus puts it in the Sermon on the Mount.
Scripture: Matthew 6:1-4 (NLT)
Watch out! Don’t do your good deeds publicly, to be admired by others, for you will lose the reward from your Father in heaven. When you give to someone in need, don’t do as the hypocrites do—blowing trumpets in the synagogues and streets to call attention to their acts of charity! I tell you the truth, they have received all the reward they will ever get. But when you give to someone in need, don’t let your left hand know what your right hand is doing. Give your gifts in private, and your Father, who sees everything, will reward you.
Some people do lots of good work so that others will like them. And while all good work is a good thing, it is not all created equally and it does not all have the same eternal impact.
Wrong motives lead to less desirable results, and the praise of humans is not nearly as important as the praise of God. Why would we settle for a pat on the back from a person when we could have heavenly rewards from God? Because we feel that itch get scratched in the moment is why; it feels good when people compliment our actions or something about us.
But I encourage you to earnestly ask yourself these questions: What are my motives for generosity? Am I seeking something FROM others or something FOR them?
Our generosity should lead us to give something FOR others and not to get something FROM them.
God knows when we give for the right reasons; therefore, let all that you give and all that you do be for God’s glory. Give God all the credit and remember God’s goodness. Tap into the never-ending resource that is God’s abundance for all of us.
All-knowing God, who sees not only everything I do but also the reasons that I do them. Make me pure of heart so that in all of my living and all of my giving, my motivation would be for your glory and for the blessing of my neighbors. Through Jesus Christ my Lord. Amen.