Generous. If you think about money when you see that word, you are not alone.
Most people do. However, from a biblical perspective, “generous” is a much bigger word.
For example, Romans 13:12 says, “Share with God’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.” In this case, “hospitality” does not just mean “having someone over for supper” as we often think about it. Rather, it carries more the idea of being generous with our time and “making room in our life for others.”
Being hospitable and generous reminds us that we are to “look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others” (Philippians 2:4).
Biblical generosity can also be seen in how we use our words. Colossians 4:6 says, “Let your conversation be always full of grace.” This sort of graciousness and generosity can be very powerful.
I have a friend who always overstates the positive and treats people better than they deserve to be treated. He can see people’s faults, but he chooses to focus on and talk about their strengths. As a mutual friend pointed out, “Even if you do not agree with his assessment, you want to his friend because you want to bask in the same generous assessment that you hear him giving everything and everyone else.”
My friend raises the level of the people around him simply by being generous with his words.
In those two areas, and many more, we are asked to live generously. We are not called to simply protect and build up ourselves, but to live in such a way that others benefit from our presence. Ultimately, a life that is lived with an open hand and an open heart is a life that honours the God who is generous to us in every way. “Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus…” (Philippians 2:1-8).
Generosity is a good test of our true spiritual condition, because it is the natural outcome of a spiritually healthy life!
“A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed” (Proverbs 11:25).