A generous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed. Proverbs 11:25

Life is full of irony, especially for the Christ follower. Want to be the greatest in the Kingdom? Put everyone before you. Want to be first? Be last. Want to be strong? Be weak. It’s no wonder people are a little confused by our way of life.

Add another irony to the mix. If we are honest with ourselves we all want more. Who of us hasn’t made a statement like this: “If I win the lottery I will…”? Or, “if only I had…”. As a human race it’s natural to measure our success and importance on possessions. One of the biggest reasons our nation is in such financial turmoil is the desire for more. We want more toys so we use plastic to get it. We want more government benefits even though oftentimes those benefits come as a result of higher taxes or more national debt.

Relationships have been destroyed, churches plundered and lives lost all in the name of ‘more’. The Bible gives us another way to get more, give more. In reality the main reason we want more is to make us feel better on the inside. Our quest of material possessions is really a cry for inner peace. We buy into the false idea that physical comfort results in emotional stability. In reality it’s the opposite.

So how can you get more? Give more. Your response to that may be the same one that I tend to give, “I don’t have anything to give. If I won the lottery…” But each of us can be generous. The level of our generosity has absolutely NOTHING to do with the balance in our checkbook. Think about that for awhile, it’s important.

If I have no money I can give myself. It may be something so small and insignificant (in our eyes) as a smile to the flustered and inept server at the coffee shop. It may be refraining from taking your legal and rightful turn at the four-way stop! As long as you have breath you have something you can give to those around you. The important, emotionally fulfilling things in life cost nothing but time, and often that time amounts to minutes, not hours.

One day Jesus and his disciples were standing in the temple watching people give their offerings. One dear little old lady put two mites (essentially two pennies) into the offering plate. Jesus, the Son of God, the richest, most powerful person on earth saw that and was in awe and excited. He pointed the woman out. “Look! She has given the most because she gave from the heart!”

Generosity doesn’t come from the swipe of a credit card, or the signing of the check. Generosity comes from a heartfelt desire to make a difference in the lives of those around you.

The true beauty of generosity is that when you give of yourself to others with an attitude of love and compassion, you are blessed far more than the person you have reached out to.

Want to have more peace and fulfillment in your life? Give what you’ve already been given, even if it’s just a hug or a smile to someone who needs one. You may be surprised how good it feels.

PRAYER: Father God, I confess to you that often I’ve measured my ability to give by the balance of my checkbook or the external gifts I wish I had. I have ignored the many ways I can be generous with the things you have already given me. Empower me by your Spirit to see ways I can be generous without spending a penny. Help my generosity show others the love of Jesus. In your name I pray, Amen.