The paths that everyone’s generosity journey takes is always different. However, during the interview process for The Generosity Bet, some of the story contributors shared unique and even unfamiliar Scripture verses that radically altered their understanding of generosity:
“Two things I asked of You. Do not refuse me before I die: keep deception and lies far from me, give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with the food that is my portion, that I not be full and deny You and say, ‘Who is the Lord?’ or that I not be in want and steal, and profane the name of my God.” – Proverbs 30:7-9
“Everybody talks about the Prayer of Jabez, but you ought to learn to pray the Prayer of Agur where he says, ‘Lord don’t let me become too poor or too rich, but just give me what I need.’
“…I believe there’s a direct connection between maturity and money, between spiritual power and possession, between how much God is able to bless me and how good a money manager I am. And if God cannot trust you with material blessing, He’s not going to give you spiritual power. And I’m far more interested in the power and the anointing and the blessing of God.”
“‘Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, so that there may be food in My house, and test Me now in this,’ says the Lord of hosts, ‘if I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you a blessing until it overflows.’” – Malachi 3:10
“Our goal in life–and our security–was all about financial independence and worldly success. But things changed when April and I [Craig] were married in 1994. We had both been previously married, and both brought significant debt into our marriage. But, in spite of our difficult financial situation, our opinion of biblical giving changed very quickly. April was introduced to Malachi 3:10 and shared with me that it is the only place in the Bible where God asks us to test Him. We both knew in our hearts that if we truly loved God, it was only right that we obey His command to give.”
“But those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a snare and many foolish and harmful desires which plunge men into ruin and destruction.” – I Timothy 6:9
“I had a natural tendency, maybe everyone does, to want more stuff, to want nice stuff. I wanted to counteract that, not only for myself, but also for my family. When my family and I looked at going into business, we saw as a dangerous thing if we succeeded. So we decided, ‘Let’s not do this unless we put some safeguards in our lives to make this business a positive thing rather than a negative.’ We set out not to get rich. We set out to avoid becoming rich.”
“For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sake He became poor, so that you through His poverty might become rich.” – II Corinthians 8:9
“A friend challenged me to answer why I gave. I said something about God giving us a lot so we wanted to give back. However, in the back of my mind, I was thinking that my wife and I were probably giving 20% now—double tithing. There’s probably a place in Heaven for the double-tithers. And I was thinking that God would be happy with our giving because He needed our money to fund things that weren’t being funded. Ultimately, it was bad theology.
“That question brought me back to passages like 2 Corinthians 8:9 where it explains the difference between wealth and poverty. God took two loaves and five fish and fed two thousand. He doesn’t need our money. He wants our hearts.”
“Otherwise you may say in your heart, ‘My power and the strength of my hand made me this wealth.’ But you shall remember the Lord your God, for it is He who is giving you power to make wealth, that He may confirm His covenant which He swore to your fathers, as it is this day.” – Deuteronomy 8:18
“I’m a financial advisor who thinks money isn’t very important. In fact, I think wealth may be more dangerous to your family than a blessing. My role in client’s lives is to help them keep money in its proper place and help clients pursue their true roles. I know the man you claim to be, and I’m going to walk alongside you to help you remain that man because money will change who you are. The only way to keep that from happening is to hold wealth with an open hand.”
What verses have shaped your understanding of generosity?