It’s easy to consider generosity as a calling delegated to the rich—or at least, those richer than us. But if we consider the goodness and character of God, this can’t be the case. Scripture says that joy and eternal treasures are stored up for those who give generously, and that it’s more blessed to give than to receive. So we cannot assume that such blessing is only reserved for the wealthy, because God shows no partiality.
Generosity is not just a luxury of the rich, but a privilege of the poor. It doesn’t stem from leftover, but often paradoxically flows from lack.
All throughout Scripture, God displays this model. When He called the Israelites to generosity, He spoke to those who lacked (Deut. 14:22-29). Think of it—the Israelites had endured generations of slavery, were displaced for decades waiting for the Promised Land, and yet God called them to give! This wasn’t to lay a heavy burden, but because in love God includes those who lack.
In Mark 12:41-44, Jesus took note of a poor widow who gave all she had to live on, just two copper coins. It was a seemingly worthless gift compared to the lavish offerings of those around her. Yet she was heralded by Jesus for her great generosity. Rather than clinging to her final coins, she gave in faith knowing that God includes those who lack.
Amidst severe affliction and extreme poverty, the Macedonian church was so eager that they actually begged Paul for the favor of giving (2 Cor. 8:1-5). They broke every sensible rule of stewardship and cheerfully gave beyond what they could afford. This generosity was the overflow of their joy, because they understood that God includes those who lack.
Because God so desires to include those that lack, He encourages us with the promise of His provision (Luke 12:22-34). Right before calling His disciples to eternally-minded generosity, Jesus reminded them, “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat, nor about your body, what you will put on. For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing. Consider the ravens: they neither sow nor reap, they have neither storehouse nor barn, and yet God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds!” (Luke 12:22-24)
The God who feeds the ravens will not forget His children.
This assurance enables us to pursue lives of generosity even in seasons of adversity. When we give amidst adversity, we testify that our treasure and trust is Christ. When we give amidst adversity, we follow the example of the saints who’ve gone before us proclaiming God as our true Provider and investing in Heaven as our true Home.
So if you feel broke and empty-handed, take heart and give! Remember that the King who noticed a widows two coins weighs generosity by sacrifice not sum.