I’m Here for You Day 3: Being Generous
“Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven; give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.” (Luke 6:37-38)
“One gives freely, yet grows all the richer; another withholds what he should give, and only suffers want. Whoever brings blessing will be enriched, and one who waters will himself be watered.” (Proverbs 11:24-25, ESV)
“The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” (2 Corinthians 9:6-7, ESV)
“All you can take with you is that which you’ve given away.” This is one of my favorite quotes from my all-time favorite movie, It’s a Wonderful Life. The movie perfectly captures the effects that one person’s generosity can have on the world around them. The quality of a life is not measured by fame and gain, but by the goodness given in the time permitted. Truthfully, generosity expands far past monetary handouts and is more accurately defined as giving anything in abundance without the expectation of something in return.
A good friend is generous with their money. You don’t have to be wealthy to give money generously. In Luke 21, Jesus exalts the poor woman who gave two pennies. Why? Because she gave a substantial percentage of the little money she had. She gave, not because she had, but because she thought the cause was worthy. If you have been blessed with wealth, God has called you to give. To whom much has been given, much will be required. What, or more accurately, who is worth your money? If a friend is going through a difficult time financially, give. Even if you don’t have much, God assures us that what we sow, we will reap. We can give with full assurance that we will not lack what we need.
A good friend is generous with their time. Truthfully, time is more expensive than money. In this fast-paced world, it’s easy to get lost in the never-ending pile of responsibilities. So much of our time can be consumed with self, but that is not what we are called to do. We have been given a finite amount of time on this earth to live and give glory to God. Give time to your friends. Sit with them in their time of need. Spend your weekend helping them move. Have fun adventures together. Give your time and give it generously, because we need each other. If COVID-19 has taught us anything, it is that we need time together, so why not give it and give it in abundance.
A good friend is generous with their effort. Have you ever been working on a task and then ask for someone’s help, and through huffs and puffs they lend a lackadaisical hand? It can be so frustrating that you would honestly rather they not help you at all. A half-hearted act of kindness is not an act of kindness. In 2 Corinthians 9 we are reminded that God loves a cheerful giver. He wants us to give out of the truest desire of our hearts and not out of compulsion. Offer a helping hand and be diligent in your efforts. Work hard for those around you. Invest in conversations and listen whole-heartedly. You get out what you put in.
A good friend is generous with grace. We are imperfect humans living in an imperfect world. We cannot expect perfection from our friends or family. God’s grace is extended to you in the same amount that it has been extended to your neighbor. So, be generous with your grace. Give grace to the friend that spoke unkindly behind your back. Give grace to the friend who made a bad decision. Give grace to the friend who caused you pain. Give grace because you have been given a greater grace than you can ever know by the only One who could judge you.
My challenge to you today is to find ways to give to those around you. Look for the person who simply needs a moment to talk about their current struggles. Leave an anonymous envelope of cash for your neighbor in need. Take the time to diligently write a heartfelt letter to a long-distance friend. Do whatever you can with whatever you have, and I promise you will not regret giving it away.