Why Generosity Comes First

express generosity

As world-renowned Pastor Andy Stanley said in one of his recent sermon series, we all know how to give. Christians all over the country know how to give because giving is easy. With enough of a guilt-trip or sob story, we’ll give to just about anything. Being generous, on the other hand, is far from easy. Generosity is not flaky and sporadic like most of our giving ends up being; it’s planned, purposed, and prioritized. Maybe we understand why generosity needs to be planned and why it needs to be purposed, but why does it need to be prioritized?

The scriptures point to prioritized generosity quite often.  Some of those verses are listed below:

1 Corinthians 16:2On the first day of every week, each one of you should set aside a sum of money in keeping with your income, saving it up, so that when I come no collections will have to be made. (NIV)

Proverbs 3:9Honor the Lord with your wealth and with the firstfruits of all your produce; (ESV)

As we can see, prioritized generosity is a great ideal to shoot for because it honors the Lord. In addition to that, prioritized generosity honors those who need it most—which in turn, honors the Lord too.

Related Post: With our tiny seeds of obedience, God can produce everlasting trees full of life giving fruit.

Unfortunately, that does not describe where we are as a Christian people right now. Over the past 40 years, self-identified evangelicals have been giving between 2 and 3 percent of their incomes to churches and parachurch organizations. If we want the name of Jesus to be shared with as many people as possible, our current financial habits do not indicate this enthusiasm.

How do we fix this? Well, we go back to what we learned earlier. We must prioritize our giving so that we can become generous people. If not, we will continue to wander around giving here and there at random for the rest of our lives. God did not give his only begotten Son so we could be wanderers. He wants us to be leaders. And if we aren’t doing that yet, we need to start—before it’s too late.

Written by Ben Baxter

My name is Ben Baxter. I am a husband, father, elder, engineer, and financial coach hailing from Tuscaloosa, Alabama. I am a regular contributor of personal finance and career development topics for The Birmingham News / AL.com. I am also the owner/editor of the multi-authored blog, Baxter & Friends.

7 thoughts on “Why Generosity Comes First

  1. Pingback: How to Help Without Judging the Needy?
  2. I just listened to Andy’s message a few days ago; great word!

    This post is really good Ben! “prioritized generosity is a great ideal to shoot for because it honors the Lord.”

    I’ve been wanting to do a post like this recently, but I think you covered it here 🙂

    1. Giving should always be a priority for us because Jesus gave up everything for us. I can never fathom when Christians aren’t generous. It doesn’t commute for me.

  3. Remembering to give isn’t something that should a task, or a check in the box. Be a cheerful giver. Know that your giving will save lives, lost souls, needy people. “We must prioritize our giving so that we can become generous people.”

    Make giving your first thought and not something you feel is a chore. Great post Ben!!

    1. Thanks, Virginia. Giving should never feel like a chore. However, I am a fan of obeying the Lord cheerfully and giving until it feels like a gift. And being able to give is a gift.

  4. Good stuff Ben! If everyone kept this post in mind along with Alex’s post last week, the world would be an entirely different place.

    1. We’re a sinful world for sure, but generous hearts definitely make it a lot better place to live while we’re on this planet.

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