If generosity makes a man rich, what does stinginess make him?
For many (most?) of us, giving is painful. And because it’s so painful we steer away from it, this to our own injury.
One antidote to pain caused by giving is giving. Giving gets easier with practice.
Giving presses us into Lord Jesus, which results in increased faith, which results in giving made easier, which results in a better life here and hereafter.
“The just shall live by faith.” We don’t understand faith. We assume we have sufficient faith for a quick recovery from sickness, and don’t understand why healing is so slow. If we don’t have faith for generosity, believing God to replenish, why should we expect to have faith for the miraculous?
Yet we do have faith; what we want is more. And we do give; we want to be more generous. Giving can be fun; it gives us a pleasant tickle in our belly.
Feeding sunday’s hungry collection basket isn’t giving, but rather payment for service rendered. The ‘good Samaritan’ gave. The “poor widow” who “threw in two mites” was generous, and caught the Master’s attention. Paul shared his earnings from labor with “those who were with me.”
What did it cost the Samaritan to pay for expenses incurred? According to Solomon, nothing. And what did the “two mites” cost the widow? According to Solomon, nothing. And what did Paul’s generosity cost Paul? According to Solomon, nothing.
And what will generosity cost us? Nothing. We may get recompensed down here or up there (probably both), but restitution is certain. And not just restitution, but restitution plus (that’s a big fat plus).
A young man foolishly lost his house and incurred debt, bringing hardship to his family. He wrote in his Bible, “I will give myself out of debt.” He gave himself out of debt and back into a house of their own.
Another antidote for pain caused by giving is gazing.
Have you noticed christians, generally speaking, don’t change much? The controller, after a decade or two, is still encumbered by the need to control. Angry is still angry, Fearful is still fearful, Crippled is still crippled, Talkative is still talkative, Braggart still brags, Timid is still timid.
And Cheap is still cheap.
We don’t change much because we don’t gaze much.
Cheap won’t get far, at least not near as far as he would if he were not so stingy. Much good works will not be accomplished because of his crippling unbelief.
Gazing upon the Lord Jesus Christ with a steady, or at least a frequent, gaze is the answer to every problem man has invented. Pursuing Christ religiously is not religion; it is wisdom. Our eternal future will be determined by our quality of gazing.