Perspectives

Join with God in the act of gift giving

By Donna Putney
Posted 10/31/19

Grace to you and peace.

“Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each of you should give what you have decided …

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Perspectives

Join with God in the act of gift giving

Posted

Grace to you and peace.

“Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.” 2 Corinthians 9:6-8, New International Version (NIV)

Generosity is a spiritual practice that we don’t talk about enough. When I reflect on it, I discover that generosity is actually an act of liberation. When we are generous with food we liberate people from hunger, when we are generous with forgiveness we liberate people from guilt, and when we are generous with monetary donations we liberate people from hardship.

But more importantly, when we are generous we ourselves are freed from greed.

You see the act of liberation works both ways — not only are we freeing others, but in the gracious act of joining God in the giving, the power of greed loses its grip on us.

Practicing generosity helps us recognize that when food, forgiveness, and money are shared there is true liberation from insecurity and scarcity for ourselves and others. Practicing generosity helps us to see the great extravagance of God’s love and provision for us.

Daily bread is meant to be shared and we are meant to participate in the coming of the kingdom of God.  God will continue to give daily bread, and God’s kingdom will continue to break into this world whether we participate or not, but God has invited us and almost begs us to participate! 

God, the greatest giver of all, pours out grace upon grace — gift upon gift — at a level we can never earn or deserve. The gift of God’s grace is always an invitation to participate in the giving. This means we don’t merely return a portion to God, but join with God in the act of gift giving!

Generosity is liberating. It is liberating to those who receive the gift and to those who give. I am thankful that we have a generous God who gives freely, abundantly, and extravagantly and the freedom these gifts bring. I thank God for your generosity and for the freedom it brings: freedom from scarcity, insecurity, selfishness and greed. I am thankful that God lets us share in the giving. 

(Donna Putney is the pastor of Hope Lutheran Church in Powell.)

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