11 Don’t hesitate to be enthusiastic—be on fire in the Spirit as you serve the Lord! 12 Be happy in your hope, stand your ground when you’re in trouble, and devote yourselves to prayer. 13 Contribute to the needs of God’s people, and welcome strangers into your home. 14 Bless people who harass you—bless and don’t curse them. 15 Be happy with those who are happy, and cry with those who are crying.
The call to Christian living is a call to be generous in EVERY respect. In this passage alone, we see a call to be generous with at least eight things: enthusiasm, joy, courage, prayers, resources, hospitality, blessings, and empathy.
It’s a generosity of SPIRIT we aim to cultivate, not just generosity in finances. What we have been given, we pour back out into the world, creating a constant circulation of blessings among God’s people. This is how God’s economy works. Financial generosity is just one area of focus, one sphere of practice for the larger question: how open are our hearts towards others? Do we trust that, in God, there is enough?
This passage reminds us that the joy of giving is just that – joy. It’s not about duty, it’s not about what’s required, and it’s not about what anyone expects of us. Giving is about embracing the joy that comes from knowing that in God, there is plenty: plenty of love, plenty of forgiveness, plenty of resources to go around. Always.
by Joe Monahan
For Pondering & Prayer
Of the eight things named in this short passage, do you find that there are some you hold back from others? If so, make this your prayer today, asking God for the faith to believe that there is enough for you and for others too.
Prayer: God, you have created us and given us all things. Help us today to trust that in you, there is always more than enough – in fact, there is plenty for everyone. Believing that, open our hearts to become more and more generous in every respect. Amen.