Tuesday, April 9

Radical generosity

Scripture: 1 Samuel 6-7, Psalm 72, 2 Corinthians 9

2 Corinthians 9:2 For I know your eagerness to help, and I have been boasting about it to the Macedonians, telling them that since last year you in Achaia were ready to give; and your enthusiasm has stirred most of them to action.

2 Corinthians 9:7 Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctant or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.


Look at the words that Paul uses to describe the Corinthians’ attitude toward giving an offering for poor in Jerusalem: eager, ready, enthusiastic and cheerful.  And if you translate the two negatives in v. 7 as positives, you could add willing and freely.  Paul praised them for this attitude and promised that God would bless them for their generosity.  You can’t outgive God!


Many of us experience a tightening of the heart when asked to give.  Giving is not a free and joyous experience, but something we often resent and resist.  What a contrasting example the Corinthians offer us!  And even more—the example of Jesus.  “Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift.” (v. 15; also see 8:9).  Jesus’ radical generosity is the motivation for ours.  God is so open-handed and generous.  When you follow Jesus, you begin to live more generously.

I want to live generously—not only with my money, but my time, attention, energy, help, love, forgiveness…everything.  I want to be a generous person.  That means being eager to give, ready and enthusiastic to give, cheerful and willing to give, and giving freely.  

Prayer: Lord, give me a generous heart, characterized by all the words I’ve listed above.  I know that I can never outgive you!