The Family Trait

“See that you also excel in this grace of giving.” 2 Corinthians 8:7 NIV

Release is the key to increase.”

My thoughts today are about “the family trait.”

I think that most people would like to be generous, but giving just does not come easily always. It seems most natural to hold fast rather than to let go. We gather, store and hoard. The more one seems to have, the more reluctant to give any of it away.

The Bible is pretty clear about the path to abundance and blessing. “One person gives freely, yet gains more; another withholds what is right, only to become poor. A generous person will be enriched and the one who gives water will receive water.” Proverbs 11:24-25.  Release is the key to increase.

Generosity is the way to blessing. I guess you have to believe that what you give that you should give is not lost but merely loaned to the Lord who will repay. “Give and it will be given to you; a good measure – pressed down, shaken together and running over – will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you.” Luke 6:38.

The first step to excel in giving is to realize that everything belongs to God, and everything you have comes from Him. “Now the One Who provides seed to the sower and bread for food will provide and multiply your seed and increase the harvest of your righteousness as you are enriched in very way for all generosity.” 2 Corinthians 9:10.

God established a principle of sowing and reaping. The principle is really simple. First of all, you reap what you sow. Then, you reap more than you sow. But you reap nothing if you do not sow something. “Remember this: the person who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and the person who sows generously will also reap generously. Each person should give as he has determined in his heart – not with regret or from necessity, for God loves a cheerful giver.” 2 Corinthians 9:6. My grandfather, a pastor, would remind his congregation, “Don’t give until it hurts. Give until it stops hurting.” That’s when you know you have made a spiritual breakthrough.

Giving isn’t really about money. It’s not about having more; it’s about being more – more than you ever would be if you kept it all for yourself. Release is the key to increase. Your releasing what you have is the way for God to provide what you need. Giving is about heart, and your trust in God. Growing up, I often heard my Dad say, “You can give without loving, but you cannot love without giving.” I have found that to be true. Where giving is restricted, love is lacking. Who has not watched a small child bring a pretty (or sometimes not so pretty) wild flower to Mom with the words, “I love you Mommy?” Even a child’s love has to find some way of expression, just like God’s.

Who could ever forget the most familiar Bible verse of all, “For God so loved the world that He gave . .” John 3:16. Giving is a family trait. Every time you give, you are a little more like your Heavenly Father. Jesus said, “It is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the Kingdom.” Luke 12:32.

My prayer for you today is that you will live and love generously.