How being generous becomes a problem to you – and to those you're giving to

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Being generous is a good thing to be. It's an attitude, a character that allows us to be kind and gracious to others, sharing with them whatever we can share to meet their needs. This kind of character reflects the very nature of God, who never withholds anything good from those who love Him.

We who received our salvation by faith in the precious and priceless work of Christ know what it means to be given something of incomparable value, something so precious no amount of money can buy it. We should know how good generosity really is.

However, although generosity is a good trait encouraged among those who have received God's love, it might pose a problem if it is not tempered with Godly wisdom. It can be a problem to you and the ones you will be generous with. Don't believe me? Here's how it might happen.

A problem to you

The Lord Jesus commands us to be generous. In Matthew 10:8 He tells us, "Freely you have received, freely give." What we receive, we can give.

However, there are some who are overzealous in their generosity. There are those who want to be so generous they end up giving away all that they have even at a high cost. I've known some who, in trying to be generous to all, became the run-to person whenever some need arises. They end up stripped of what they used to have – and regret it soon enough.

While being a generous person is pleasing in God's eyes, there are times when we should exercise wisdom in our generosity. There are some who will abuse our kindness. There are some who will take advantage of our generosity in their greediness. We will become prey to their schemes if we are not careful.

Be wise, friends. Don't love others more than you should. Remember, "love your neighbor [only] as yourself" (see Matthew 22:39, emphasis mine). Don't disobey God by going overboard.

A problem to others

One problem our generosity might bring to others is quite simple: they might get used to it.

While there are many needy people in the world, there are some who are terribly lazy and some who are awfully greedy. There are some who would want to simply receive and receive, and even some who would take and take. It's dangerous to be generous to them because they will sap you dry, and fuel their laziness and greed even more with what they can get from you.

Proverbs 26:15 tells us, "The lazy man buries his hand in the bowl; It wearies him to bring it back to his mouth." There are some who, even if they are capable of working or producing wealth, would rather rely on welfare and donations. This isn't right.

God wants all of His children to be generous alright, but we are also told to be wise. Be generous with what you have, but reserve for God what belongs to Him, and steward God's provision wisely.

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