by Erin Bird
Today is Day 26 in our six-week/40 Day “Generosity Campaign.” I hope this has been a good-yet-challenging series for you, thus far. If you haven’t had a chance to do at least a couple of the “Generosity Activity” ideas we’ve been posting on social media, it’s not too late to do at least one of them. You can catch up on our Facebook page, Twitter feed, and/or Instagram account. We’ll be posting a few more ideas over the next couple of weeks. When you do a few of these Generosity Activities, you are helping yourself grow in generosity, so go ahead and do at least one of the ideas over the last couple of weeks in our campaign.
Speaking of growing in generosity, today’s passage from 1 Timothy 6:17-19 addresses this very idea.
The Power of “And”
Quick Reminder: we are in a series here on our blog called How to Be Rich based on 1 Timothy 6:17-19, which says…
As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy. They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, thus storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is truly life. (1 Timothy 6:17-19, ESV)
Because we talked about being “rich in good works” last week, we are ready to look at the last phrase of verse 18: “to be generous and ready to share.”
As you know, the word “and” is a connector word. When you say “Jake and Grace,” you are acknowledging that the two of them go together. They are connected.
The same goes with this week’s phrase. When Paul is telling Timothy to instruct the wealthy people in his church on how to follow Jesus, he connects the words “generous” and “share.”
If you think about it, this makes sense. The dictionary defines generous as “giving more than expected.” But you could easily swap out the word “giving” and replace it with the word “sharing” – and it is still perfectly logical! The words generous and sharing are intricately linked.
I think too often, we limit the idea of “generous” to financial giving. But when you realize the word “generous” is tied to the word “sharing,” suddenly your concept of generosity expands. This means you are being generous when you…
- give a cup of flour or a couple of eggs to a neighbor,
- let someone borrow your extra car just sitting in your driveway,
- bring a surprise coffee for a coworker,
- text an encouraging word or a funny meme to a friend,
- share a bit of insight in a mentoring or parenting relationship,
- give a bowl of tomatoes you grew in your garden,
- or talk about your faith in Jesus.
A Posture of Sharing
In week 1 of our How to Give series on Sundays, we saw from 2 Corinthians 9:1-5 that to truly be generous means we need to live with a “posture” of giving. We see that here in 1 Timothy as well. Paul tells us to be “ready to share.” Rather than be quick to anger, or quick to tease, or quick to avoid; to be like Jesus means we need to be quick to share, to have a posture of generosity, to be ready to give to someone in need.
So how can you be quick to display generosity this week through the act of sharing? Let me encourage you to be on the lookout for the opportunity to share something of your FIST (Finances, Influence, Skill, or Time) over the course of the next few days.