Generous

Read: Proverbs 11:23-31

Whoever brings blessing will be enriched, and one who waters will himself be watered. (v. 25)

Reality check: Every breath we breathe comes from God. Our lives belong to God (“you were bought with a price”; 1 Corinthians 6:20). The church we love is Christ’s body and bride. In short, “The earth is the LORD’s and the fullness thereof” (Psalm 24:1). The concept of generosity is built on the truth that God owns it all. The calling to be generous is founded on the reality that God gave it all.

Some have taken offense at pastors who talk to their congregations about generosity, particularly about money. Considering how much Scripture teaches about it, expecting pastors not to talk about finances would be like asking your doctor not to talk to you about your body! How we use our resources—time, talent, and treasure—reflects our spiritual maturity and represents an opportunity for further growth.

The teaching to give has little to do with the church and everything to do with the giver. The church is following Christ’s mission and will not be stopped by a lack of resources. Pastors can find other ways to make a living (I think), and churches can meet anywhere. But our failure to be obedient to God’s wisdom about our resources will keep us from experiencing the fullness of joy God desires for us. Winston Churchill said it well: “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.” We live as we give! —Joel Plantinga

As you pray, seek guidance on how you use your time, talent, and treasure.

About the Author

Rev. Joel Plantinga has now been in full-time pastoral ministry for more than 20 years. He serves as the Lead Pastor of Desert Winds Community Church (RCA) in Palmdale, California, and is married to Teresa with children Noah, Eden, and Rachel.

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