The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. (2 Corinthians 9:6, ESV)
2 Corinthians 9:6 is one of the most powerful passages of Scripture. It is common sense, but it is not common practice. Many of us sow sparingly but hope to reap abundantly.
There is often a correlation between debt and generosity. I don’t have any verification of this as fact but see it more as a general observation. Those who are most in debt are often the least generous. On the one hand, there is an excuse not to be generous because of the debt. But even more important is the mindset that leads to debt.
Debt is caused by a spirit of poverty. There is a perception of scarcity. It is the idea that I need to hold on to what I have and not let it go. I will hoard what I have in fear that I will be left in want. This spirit makes me especially susceptible to be manipulated into thinking I need things I can’t afford to make me content, happy, and fulfilled.
The spirit of poverty has its grip on many of us. It’s got its grip on many churches and ministries. Our effectiveness is thwarted by worrying about “paying the bills.”
The antidote to perceived scarcity is to practice generosity. We cannot out-give God. A more abundant harvest comes as a result of planting more seed. The more seed that is planted this year will result in the ability to plant even more seed in the following year.
Instead of living with perceived scarcity, recognize the abundance of God. Recognize that he is the provider. Recognize that the one who gave you everything you have can give you even more.
In the Parable of the Talents (see Luke 19:11-27), the first two servants put to work what the master had given them. God prospers their work and the result is that they were entrusted with more. God rewards faithfulness. The third servant hoarded what he had. But in the end even what little he had was taken away. It was not about what they had. It was about what they did with what they had.
Eliminating debt starts with eliminating the mindset that causes debt. Live faithfully with what you have been given and trust in God’s supply. Loosen your grip on stuff to allow yourself to take hold of God’s blessings.
On a separate but similar note, I want to say a big thank you to the readers of Greater Things. You are awesome. On Monday, I shared an invitation to help us fund 20,000 meals for the children of Haiti. I don’t have access to know where the funds came from, but what I was able to see was that our two-week fundraising effort doubled in one day. We went from having raised $2500 to over $5000 in one day. We are now less than $1000 from our fundraising goal to bring this event to NJ. And we still have two months from the day of the event. The fact that these funds came in on the day I made the appeal to you leads me to believe that you responded. So thank you on behalf of the children you are helping to feed.
The challenge now becomes how many more meals we can provide. Once we hit $6000, every additional $.30 is one more meal. How many will we ultimately be able to send? Will it be 40,000 or 60,000 or even 100,000? God is good. If you would like to help visit haitianchildrensministry.org/food.
- Do you agree or disagree that debt and lack of generosity are related?
- How has a lack of generosity been detrimental in your life?
- How can you specifically practice generosity with your time, treasure, and talent?