“For God is the one who provides seed for the farmer and then bread to eat. In the same way, he will provide and increase your resources and then produce a great harvest of generosity in you. Yes, you will be enriched in every way so that you can always be generous.”Â (2 Corinthians 9:10-11, NLT)
So I have been stuck on these verses for a few weeks now. Money and giving. Funny how they can become a struggle in our lives without us even realizing it …
- How much do we give?
- How much do we spend?
- Do we really need to tithe?
- Do I have to give if things are tight at home?
- How do I know what they will do with the money I give?
Over the weekend, through some conversations with a friend, and spending time in these verses, here is what hit me …
1) God first provides seed and then comes the bread. I wonder if too often, we want the bread before we will give the seed away.
2) He provides so we will give and then increases our resources. I wonder if too often, we wait until our resources are increased. Then we say He has provided and feel a little better able to give. Do we wait until we feel “comfortable”, that we have enough or our own needs are met, before we will give?
3) Giving begets generosity. God provides the very seed to give away, so that there is greater generosity birthed in us.
4) Giving enriches our lives. He enriches our lives through our giving, SO THAT we will ALWAYS be generous. It is as we give together in community, see the outcome, realize lives are being changed, needs are being met that our own lives also become enriched and we become even more generous.
As I looked at all this and pondered it, I stumbled across an interesting word – “haplotes”. It is the Greek word for generous. And here is what I am learning – this word means “generosity, sincerity. This noun means the positive moral quality of being genuine and authentic as an expression of singularity in purpose and motivation. It can also mean giving to another in a free-handed manner, with the implication that the giving is sincere and not with duplicitous purposes” (from the NLT Study Bible, Hebrew and Greek Word Studies).
When He tells us to be generous, His desire is that our giving would be genuine, with authenticity. He wants us to give free-handed out of our love and obedience towards Him.
We often wait to “feel” generous before we give.
And God says, “Give and you will be astounded at how generous I will make you.”