Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Generosity versus Selfishness

Generosity flows from God in everything He does. He gave us the earth; he gives us food, air, sunlight and everything else we need in our daily lives. He gives us His unconditional love. In fact, His generosity went so far that the very idea of following him down that path overwhelms my parenting heart:

John 3:16   For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. (NIV)

He gives to us for our immediate needs and for our eternal souls. He gives to us as an example of how we should give to one another.

Matthew 22: 36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”
37 Jesus replied: “ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’38 This is the first and greatest commandment.39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’(NIV)

God gives and gives and gives.

Yet our world tells us to take and take and take.

A certain archangel once decided that giving should be replaced with taking. He tried to take the throne of heaven and was cast out for it. Rightfully so.
After this, sin entered the world. And, that sin was rooted in his "original idea" of being selfish.

Genesis 3:6 When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. (NIV)

No longer did people concern themselves with doing for others as the number one priority. The paradigm shifted and “look out for number one” ruled the day.

Our world bombards us with things to covet and why we should covet them, especially here in America. A quick Google search reveals that the average American is exposed to 3000 advertisements a day. Bite sized chunks of information, specifically and painstakingly crafted to make us covet materialism and indulge selfishness.

All of these ride in with the despicable underlying edict that if you don’t covet there’s something wrong with you. Who doesn’t want the latest and greatest stuff? If you don’t, there’s obviously something wrong with you and your life is inferior and somehow less meaningful compared to those who do have the shiny new things.

What a horrible concept to foist on humanity!

It’s amazing to think that one bite of a piece of fruit could turn a grand creation so far from the creator in philosophy and action.

Thankfully, God is still giving and still imploring us to give. He designed us to be generous, and rewards us for doing so. Generosity brings with it a sense of fulfillment we simply can’t get from selfishness. Trust me, I know. No matter how much we spend, no matter how much we own, no matter how many toys we have, the words of Jesus still ring true:

Luke 18:25 Indeed, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.(NIV)

Jesus didn’t say this because he wants us all to be impoverished, he said this because the man he was speaking too was more attached to his possessions than to God. The man was selfish, not generous.

So, when we’re considering the last four posts on here about tithing/offering and the legalities and scriptures wrapped around those concepts, keep in mind the only thing that really matters is that God designed us in His image, which is one of generosity, not one of selfishness.

No comments:

Post a Comment