God exemplified true generosity by providing a means of salvation for all who will accept His free gift. Romans 5:8 tells us, “God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Jesus is the only perfect person who has ever lived on this earth. The rest of us are not perfect. We do not deserve to be saved. Yet, Jesus went to the cross and paid the price for our sins. Jesus’s sacrifice was a manifestation of God’s love and generosity.
Because God is generous to us, we should be generous with others. Generosity should flow from the hearts of Christians in response to God’s love for us. He has given us so much and we, in turn, give a portion of it to those around us who are in need. James tells us that “Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world.” James 1:27
In the seventh chapter of Zechariah, the people of Israel are crying out to God for relief from their oppressors. They protest that they have prayed, fasted, and mourned. The Lord tells Zechariah that they are just going through the motions, without having a right heart. If there hearts were right, they would take care of those in need. “Execute true justice, show mercy and compassion everyone to his brother. Do not oppress the widow or the fatherless, the alien or the poor. Let none of you plan evil in his heart against his brother.” Zechariah 7: 9, 10
James goes on to say that true faith is demonstrated when we take actions to help our fellow man. “If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, and one of you says to them, “Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,” but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.” James 2: 15 – 17Embed from Getty Images
Generosity should not be confused with socialism or income distribution. God has never directed His people to take care of those who are able but unwilling to care for themselves. In fact, Paul wrote that “the one who is unwilling to work shall not eat.” 2 Thessalonians 3: 10
Generosity is to be shown to widows, orphans, and those who are in true need of help. We should take every opportunity to help those who need help as an outpouring of gratitude to God for His love for us and as a means to demonstrate to those in need that God loves and cares for them.