Generosity

Generosity

“They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, thus storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is truly life.” 1 Timothy 6:18-19

 
 

The above verses are part of the Apostle Paul’s direction for Timothy as a young pastor. Paul encouraged Timothy to instruct the rich to be generous. I know that we are in some tough economic times, but most of you reading this fit in the category of the rich. If you are a struggling student without much spare change but live in America, you are rich. If you consider yourself lower to middle class and find it a struggle to pay your rent or mortgage every month, you are still rich. Just pay attention to yourself at how many times in a day you find yourself saying, “I need ____________.”  I catch myself saying how hungry I am on a regular basis. I have not missed a meal in my entire life.  Check out some of these stats:

  • 20% of the world live on one dollar a day.
  • Another 20% live on two dollars a day.
  • 20% of us live on seventy dollars a day or more.
  • The other 40% are somewhere in-between. [1] 

My guess is that you fall in the upper 20%. If so, take heed of the above advice from Paul found in the Bible.

Why is this such important advice?  Because if we miss it we miss life. I think this is why Jesus said, “Whoever seeks to preserve his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life will keep it,” (Luke 17:33). There is an interesting word found in the original Greek text in these two passages. The word for life in 1 Timothy 6:19 is the word zoe. This is a special word for life. Everyone reading this has life, or bios. You have a pulse, you breathe, therefore you have life. But that does not necessarily mean that you have a life. The life that Paul and Jesus are both talking about are the abundant life that Christ came to give us (John 10:10). He came to give us a life worth having.

The question can be made: Can you have salvation without having this abundant life that Christ came to give?  To a degree, I think you can. I think we can miss out on the abundance that Christ came to give on a daily basis. The fact that Timothy, a pastor, is called to remind the rich in his congregation, who are most likely saved Christians, to be generous, then it is possible for rich Christians to live for only temporary things thus missing what is truly life.

Real life is found in living outside of yourself. I could give you reason after reason for becoming a generous person, but I won’t. Instead, let me simply encourage you to do this: Live on less and give to others in need. Just try it. If there is no life to be found there then you are free to return to your selfish ways.

As for myself, I find it hard to live past myself. I have only tasted of this abundant life in small portions. But I have tasted it. It is there. If I could just permanently remove myself from the center of need for satisfaction from worldly things I would taste this life more. Jesus said that our hearts would be where our treasure is (Matthew 6:21). Perhaps we all need a treasure transplant.
 
Pressing On,
 
Pastor Drew

 

 

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[1] David A. Livermore, Serving with Eyes Wide Open, p. 22.