Legacy: A Heart of Generosity
We know that having a heart of generosity is important, because without generosity, we cannot walk in the full plans God has for us. When our priorities are out of whack, we can feel that giving is an obligation, not a joy. When we feel obligated to give, it isn’t done with the generous spirit we were meant to exhibit. But how do we get to a place where giving is something we delight in rather than feel burdened about? That is a good question, and today we are going to look at three things we need to keep in mind in order to have a heart of true generosity.
It can be hard to get into the right mindset when it comes to generosity; everybody gives but not everybody is generous. We want to be able to give out of a heart that has a passion for generosity, instead of simply giving out of duty. We want it to be with us as it is written in Psalm 69:9 (NLT): “Passion for your house has consumed me…” We want passion for the things of God to consume us to the point that it is a joy to be able to give. Our hearts are connected to our finances, and what we do with what we’ve been given shows in how we use the blessing our Father has provided for us.
Living in a state of generosity means walking in the fullness God has for us, and God’s best is always better than our best. Here are three things we need to keep in mind when it comes to living a life of generosity:
- Generosity is a privilege. Generosity means going beyond what’s required. When we live as though being generous is a chore, a burden, or something that we don’t want to do but have to in order to be right with God, we’re not living a truly generous lifestyle. We have to realize it is a gift to be able to be a blessing to those around us. Everything we have belongs to God, so being able to give is a privilege and an honor and a blessing and we need to live in that understanding. 1 Chronicles 29:14 (NIV) declares: “But who am I, and who are my people, that we should be able to give as generously as this? Everything comes from you, and we have given you only what comes from your hand.” When we realize that everything that we have in our possession and everything that we will have is from the Lord, we understand that we really are just giving back to Him what is already His. Being able to give is a blessing that we are privileged to have.
- Generosity is worship. We don’t often think of it this way, but generosity is a form of worship – and it is an important form. We often think that worship is just the songs we sing before a service, but it is so much more than that. It’s saying to God, You are the one who gave me everything I have – it is not my ability or worthiness, it is Yours. God sees our hearts and when we give out of generosity and not obligation, He honors that. It is written in 1 Chronicles 29:17 (NLT): “I know, my God, that you examine our hearts and rejoice when you find integrity there. You know I have done all this with good motives, and I have watched your people offer their gifts willingly and joyously.” It is about God’s glory, not ours – after all, everything that we can give is His anyway. God is delighted with our generosity; it is a beautiful form of worship that we cannot push aside for later.
- Generosity today impacts tomorrow. Our generosity today has an impact not only on the situation it directly affects but on future generations observing how we live our lives today – and generosity plants seeds that will yield an abundant harvest years from now. When you live generously, you are not only changing and impacting circumstances now but also setting the stage for the next generation to step in and rise up and live their lives in generosity. 1 Chronicles 29:15-16 (NLT) says: “We are here for only a moment, visitors and strangers in the land as our ancestors were before us. Our days on earth are like a passing shadow, gone so soon without a trace. 16 ‘O Lord our God, even this material we have gathered to build a Temple to honor your holy name comes from you! It all belongs to you!’” Our lives on earth are not eternal, that when we live our lives with the heart of generosity, the impact we have is eternal. We can show our kids that a life lived in generosity is one that makes an impact on earth and in Heaven, and inspire them to do the same.
Let us keep our hearts turned towards generosity – not just giving out of obligation. Let us pray 1 Chronicles 29:18 (NIV) over our lives today: “Lord, the God of our fathers Abraham, Isaac and Israel, keep these desires and thoughts in the hearts of your people forever, and keep their hearts loyal to you.” A heart of generosity is an important part of our legacy, and we can impact the world around us when we walk in true generosity.