You’re reading this because someone was generous. Generosity is a cornerstone of our existence, our humanity, and our best chance for making it. It feels good to be generous (try it). Humans were designed by a generous God to be a generous creation. So what happened? Cynicism, jaded motives, and our own sour experiences have built walls with few doors for free flowing, joyous, and giddy generosity. We’ve been burned before, so the risk of bad feelings outweigh good vibes. Jesus said “When you give to the needy…” (Matthew 6:3). The needy are anyone who has a need. Poverty, sickness, loss, and loneliness are real needs with real pain attached. I need food. I need love. I need money to get home. I need hope in the midst of my surprisingly empty luxury. Jesus commands his followers to be tangibly generous because that’s how the needs of humanity are best met. We distribute God’s time, money, and gifts to the needy. Generosity is the plan for the Kingdom of God.
Jesus is generous to the point of death. He didn’t have to do it, but he did — out of generosity. He meets our need. Disciples of Jesus are to live like Jesus, therefore our generosity must always be to the point of discomfort, pain, or even death. These are things we naturally avoid. Jesus wanted to avoid it, too (consider his painful conversation with his Father moments before the arrest). Discomfort, pain, and death don’t stop Jesus, nor should it stop us. But it does. At least, for me it does. I am selectively generous right to the edge of my comfort. It’s not enough.
Followers of Jesus are conduits of Kingdom generosity to a needy world. Where to begin? By accepting the generosity of Jesus in, and ultimately through, you.