After Vicki’s old car broke down with no option for repair, she started scraping together money for another vehicle. Chris, a frequent customer of the restaurant where Vicki works at the drive-thru window, one day heard her mention she needed a car. “I couldn’t stop thinking about it,” Chris said. “I [had] to do something.” So he bought his son’s used car (his son had just put it up for sale), shined it up, and handed Vicki the keys. Vicki was shocked. “Who . . . does that?” she said in amazement and gratitude.
The Scriptures call us to live with open hands, giving freely as we can—providing what’s truly best for those in need. As Paul says: “Command [those who are rich] to do good, to be rich in good deeds” (1 Timothy 6:18). We don’t merely perform a benevolent act here or there, but rather live out a cheerful spirit of giving. Big-heartedness is our normal way of life. “Be generous and willing to share,” we’re told (v. 18).
As we live with an open, generous heart, we don’t need to fear running out of what we need. Rather, the Bible tells us that in our compassionate generosity, we’re taking “hold of [true] life” (v. 19). With God, genuine living means loosening our grip on what we have and giving to others freely.
17Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment.18Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share.19In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.
When do you struggle the most with being generous?
How does God’s generous heart encourage you to give more freely?
In 1 Timothy and throughout the Bible, God’s people are encouraged to give generously (6:18). We’re told that when we do, we’re blessed in return. Deuteronomy 15:10 states, “Give generously . . . without a grudging heart; then because of this the Lord your God will bless you in all your work and in everything you put your hand to.” In Proverbs we read, “The generous will themselves be blessed, for they share their food with the poor” (22:9).
Why give? Because God “richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment” (1 Timothy 6:17). As James declares, “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights” (James 1:17). The apostle Paul, who also wrote the letters to Timothy, offers this guideline for giving: “Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver” (2 Corinthians 9:7).
I want to hold what I have loosely, God. I want to be generous, like You. Transform my heart and help me to give freely. In Jesus name, I pray. Amen!!