2 Corinthians 9:6-7
"Remember this: Whoever shows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver."
Generosity is one quality we all need to possess. As you can see from today's verse, generosity breeds untold gifts. Paul points out that it is the person who is generous who "reaps generously." That means your "return on investment," when you give generously, is both spiritual and material. Material meaning you will benefit financially in return. Jesus once said that generosity is like a light filling your inner being. That comes from that Bible verse that states "it is more blessed to give then receive." The best part being we don't even have to ask when we do!
When we give, God has ways of directly blessing us by making our resources go further. In the Bible, Deuteronomy 29:5, the children of Israel were leaving Egypt for the Promised Land. It took them 40 years to finally get to his promised oasis. During this time, God made sure their clothing did not wear out, nor did the shoes on their feet. God has the ability to make things go a long way by stretching what we already have or giving us something unexpected.
I can remember at one point during my first year in Florida being concerned I would not have the financial resources to get through the summer without a job. I had just lost work due to a company layoff. We were all living together, six of us in a small two bedroom bungalow. Each of us was new to the area with little financial means. My monetary means was dilapidated due to the recent employment loss. It was my turn to buy food for the week. What was left in my checking account wouldn't make a dinner for everyone each day of the following week. Nonetheless, I drove to the store and found such discounted items that I had just enough to make six meals for everyone for the week! Furthermore, on the seventh day, several of the family members went out crabbing and came home with such a windfall that the main fare that evening was a stockpile of crabs and a side order of crab spaghetti sauce that was incredible. To top things off, I received $3,000 dollar check for a settlement I had no idea I was a part of the following week. Apparently, a job I applied for earlier was stereotyping by not hiring woman. Someone filed a law suit and everyone that applied that year got a piece of the pie. Just enough to get me through the summer!
When we decide to give and look for ways to bless others, we often see the abundant harvest in our own lives. That is due to the sense of giving. The more we give, the more we get. Actually we are doubly blessed when we do!
Father, you bless us with generosity.
Create that spirit in me. Help me not to
be a reluctant giver. Allow me to be
cheerful in my own giving. Help me to give
of my own resources and myself. Amen.