How do we know if we're living a truly generous life? A lot of the time when people think about being generous their minds immediately turn to the financial aspect of giving. While monetary gifts are important and necessary in many cases, the Bible teaches us that generosity extends far beyond this. In addition to giving financially, we're also instructed to give freely all manner of worthy things – our time, our prayers, our forgiveness, our love – and not just to those who we think deserve them (Matthew 5:42-48).
Biblical lessons on generosity reveal to us that it has many strands. As Christians, knowing this is a great source of encouragement as it means that there are countless occasions where we can let generosity define our actions.
So don't be disheartened if you're unable to give considerable amounts of cash to those in need, think about what other ways you can respond to the call to give. In many cases these displays of kindness are more valuable than cash gifts can ever be.
Have you heard God calling you to give more recently and found yourself unsure of what action to take? Let these Bible verses help you to find clarity, and don't forget that you can always return to Him for more guidance.
Luke 21:1-4 - Jesus looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the offering box, and he saw a poor widow put in two small copper coins. And he said, "Truly, I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all of them. For they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on."
Proverbs 19:17 - Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will repay him for his deed.
1 Timothy 6:18-19 - 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.
Luke 12:33 - Sell your possessions, and give to the needy. Provide yourselves with moneybags that do not grow old, with a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches and no moth destroys.
Proverbs 22:9 - Whoever has a bountiful eye will be blessed, for he shares his bread with the poor.
Matthew 25:34-36 - Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.'
Isaiah 58:10 - if you pour yourself out for the hungry and satisfy the desire of the afflicted, then shall your light rise in the darkness and your gloom be as the noonday.
2 Corinthians 9:11 - You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.