Christian Financial Alliance: Defining Biblical Generosity

Corey —  July 6, 2011 — 6 Comments

       The Christian Financial Alliance was created to help readers. The idea is this: Create a panel of biblical finance gurus. People who take seriously the call to teach the Bible accurately with grace and truth. Once a month, we post a question with a response from our panel to provide you with well-rounded, sound, biblical advice. For more on the Christian Financial Alliance (or to join our team) click here.

In your own words, define biblical generosity.

       “Biblical generosity is giving that is a result of a transformed heart. We give because God loved us first and because we long to love, live and give as He did. We want to grab hold of the abundant life in Christ – of which giving is an important part. We are told by Jesus himself that “it is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35). By giving we are also able to help release the hold that money can create on our hearts. “Instruct those who are rich in this present world…to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share…so that they may take hold of that which is life indeed.” (1 Timothy 6:17-19) We are told that our heart can’t serve two masters, and by being generous with what God has given us we’re able to release it’s hold on our lives and truly serve Him. “Each one must do just as he has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” (2 Corinthians 9:7) To me giving generously in a biblical manner leads to happiness, fulfillment and to loving others as Christ first loved us.” – BibleMoneyMatters.com

       “Loving your neighbor by using money to make his life better in some way.” – FreeMoneyFinance.com

       “Generosity, in my own words, is being spirit led for giving decisions. If we feel that God is leading us to be generous in a certain way with our money, we should act on this in faith. This requires us to not be overly attached to money, but always remaining open to God’s plan. After all, we’re called to manage it for him. The best way to release the hold on money is to stretch your faith and give to God first out of every paycheck.” – OneMoneyDesign.com

       “Biblical generosity is fueled by a passion for sharing God’s love with the world. It’s about realizing the great gift we’ve received from God through Jesus Christ and desiring to pass that gift on to others (in a variety of ways – not just money). It’s cheerful, freewill, and sacrificial and is motivated purely by love.” – ProvidentPlan.com

       “Biblical generosity is extending the goodness of God and grace of Jesus Christ to the world by living a life of pouring out–of putting the needs of others above ourselves.” – DollarsandDoctrine.com

       “Biblical generosity is seeking first the kingdom of God. It is accepting and adopting a new mind with which we evaluate what makes sense and what is a good financial decision. It is the desire to love God and others – even when others can’t understand those choices. Biblical generosity means acknowledging the blessings of God in our lives and giving him full ownership over everything we have.” – MoneyHelpForChristians.com

       “It blesses God when we are generous. It’s an act of worship; it’s a way we can show love to others; it develops character within the giver. When we give freely, we can experience the joy that comes from it and be blessed in our own life as we bless others.”-FaithandFinance.com

       “To me, there is one very straightforward passage in scripture that tells us what Biblical generosity looks like, those verses are found in Luke 10:25-37. It’s the story of a Samaritan (who was hated by the Jews), stopping alongside the road, and helping and providing for a Jew, someone that socially despised him. This is the present day equivalent of a well known political nemesis, the star player on a sports team that just beat your team, or someone from a different religion as you. And what Jesus is asking you to do is this, stop what your doing, help them out, and provide for their needs. There is only one way that we are able to meet the scriptural example of being generous. We must love our neighbors as ourselves (Mark 12:31), and we must be willing to love our enemies (Matthew 5:44). If our life, not just our answer, looks like this, then I think we are living a Biblically generous lifestyle.” – DiscipleshipGuy.com

For more on the Christian Financial Alliance (or to join our team) click here.

       Readers, how would you define Biblical generosity? Let me know in the comments!

Corey

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Corey is currently pursuing a Master of Arts degree in religion. While he enjoys learning and writing about Christianity, another one of his new passions is writing about personal finances in order to help others make wise decisions with their money.

6 responses to Christian Financial Alliance: Defining Biblical Generosity

  1. It means you realize you don’t own anything — you just manage it for God.

  2. I guess I typically think of that as a definition for stewardship, Michael. But it does work very well for defining Biblical generosity, too. “Irrational” generosity has to start with that mindset.

  3. Generosity is the fruit produced when we abide in Love(God). Biblical generosity is not based upon a command, but is the child of Love.
    God is Love. God is also the Spirit of Love. 1 John 4:16/John 4:24 The Spirit moves the mind to concieve a thought. Then it is up to us to act on the divine thought. We can act and bring the Spirit into the flesh or decide not to. When we act on the unction of the Spirit brought to the mind we birth the Spirit into the flesh.
    Example: I feel God, Love, unction me to give to someone at work that has no money. That was Spirit to mind communication. Now I can act on the unction or refuse it(grieve the Spirit). When I act on the unction God finds expression on the earth through me. I give the money. When I don’t faith without works is dead. The thought dies in my mind and never finds expression. I chose to abort the baby. When I act I give birth to an act of Love, and essentially bear fruit. James 2:26/John 15:5
    Without Holy Spirit led giving, produced from abiding, there is no Biblical based generosity. God has to be the source for it to be Biblically based. Hence John 15:5 You can do do nothing apart from Me.

  4. Matt, you always seem to have some interesting illustrations for your concepts, but I think you gave a good example of what it looks like to be abiding in God and following the Spirit. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

  5. Thank you for your kindness, and that is fruit! I love your articles on giving. Where I live, try and hide your opinion as you may, To believe any different than the norm makes you a heretic. I’m glad to see diversity of thought is celebrated on this site as long as it is Christ centered.

    When God showed me tithe as part of the law 2 1/2 years ago it was the most freeing feeling I’ve ever had. Then I shared my new freedom with a friend. Wasn’t long before my pastor found out. Suffered through 6 months of morning and night tithe sermons. One even elluded to Judas died because he stole the tithe and was trying to make the bags right so he sold Jesus for 30 pieces of silver. I kid you not. He kept saying there was room at the altar for one more to repent. There were like 50 people up there crying and weeping. Finally we left.

    I just want you to know this place will be to some people the only place of acceptance they find. Your always being respectful and gracious makes this site feel very welcoming and peaceful. I know sometimes it is harder dealing with those hurt by church. They carry such deep wounds and they tend to bring it out in there conversation, but I’ve watched you handle that with class and care.

    Be fruitful! In body, soul, and spirit. Blessings!

  6. Thank you for your encouragement, Matt. I think we often forget how powerful and necessary that is and the fact that God desires us to encourage one another.

    And wow…your story of what happened to you is why I want people to stop looking at tithing as an example for giving and look to Jesus instead. He is the ultimate revelation anyway – why would we want anything else?! I can’t believe the lengths some will go to try to enforce tithing. I can say I’ve never heard that explanation (about Judas) used before. Somebody got pretty creative…

    Thanks again, and I’m looking forward to many more fruitful discussions with you!

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