Generosity can be one of those touchy subjects. Aside from the fact that many pastors are reluctant to preach on it, and those who are givers are often hesitant to discuss it for fear of seeming boastful, the subject of generosity has a way of striking at sensitive core issues like none other.
There are three main reasons that generosity exposes so many raw nerves.
- Fear. Many times we are afraid of generosity because we fear what we might be asked to give up or give away. And there are so many forms that fear can take—fear of not having enough, fear of loss of security, fear of loss of standard of living, fear of loss of financial freedom, fear of giving up something we desire, etc.
- Guilt. Some of it has to do with our own consciences. We’re secretly afraid that we should be doing more or that God won’t be pleased with us until we reach a certain place of generosity.
- Control. Sometimes we don’t like being told what to do. We don’t want to be told what we can do with our resources. Or, we want to ensure that our money is only spent in ways that we know are worthwhile.
Some of these objections to generosity have roots in good desires. For example, if we fear generosity means we won’t have enough on a rainy day, that fear ultimately comes from the good desire to provide for our families. However, the issue is our fallen nature has twisted those good desires into bonds that control us and tempt us to take matters into our own hands.
When God asks us to be generous, it’s not because He needs our money or resources. He already owns them all. It’s not because if we don’t give, then a ministry won’t be supported. God asks us to give because He loves us and He wants our hearts. Generosity is one of the tools God uses to help our hearts let go. It frees us to love God with a whole and unafraid heart.
In the new The Generosity Bet book, Henry Kaestner shared about how he and his wife felt like they were being generous. At the time, they were “double-tithing,” or giving about 20 percent. However, when a friend challenged him about why he gave, Henry realized how his giving stemmed from thinking that now God must be pleased with him.
Or, in the case of Anne Irwin, a mother and a business owner, when God asked her to start a giving circle to bring other women into generosity, she kept using the excuse that she was just too busy.
However, as both Anne and Henry looked at their motivations and just chose to take the next step into generosity, they began understanding the joy of giving. And through giving their time, resources, and passions, God began freeing their hearts to love Him more.
So, what is your heart holding onto? What next step of generosity might God be calling you to take so you can live free and live without fear?
For more stories like these, and for practical ideas for taking the next step in your generosity journey, order your copy of The Generosity Bet today.