Don't Be Prideful About Your Generosity
17 You may say to yourself, “My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me.”
18 But, remember the LORD your God, for it is He who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms His covenant, which He swore to your forefathers, as it is today.
35 "Who has ever given to God, that God should repay him?”
It feels good to serve the Lord. To be in His service is the highest privilege a person could receive. People in the world will do all sorts of things to work with someone important: maybe a Hollywood executive, a professional athlete, a great artist, or an influential thinker. It is an opportunity to learn and to be acquainted with someone of particular greatness. Maybe somewhere down the line, they will get one of those pictures with the person, standing side by side shaking hands and smiling for the camera. Maybe they’ll have a great story of what it was to sit down across the table and have a conversation over dinner with this person: anything that makes that person more familiar and makes us more familiar to that person. Now think of this: we serve the King of All Creation and He knows us by name! We have much to feel good about! One of the sad things about human beings is that we can mess up absolutely anything. For example, someone’s generosity might be so used by God that they begin to grow proud. Not proud of God’s great works; but, proud of their role in those great works. They might think, “Wow, look at me, I sure am one generous person.”
Anytime we are tempted to such a thing we can remind ourselves of the truths presented in passages like Deuteronomy 8:17-18 or Romans 11:35 and what they teach, specifically, that everything we have, God has given us. The money in your bank account? God gave it to you. The job that earned that money? God gave you that, too. The skills that got you the job? God gave you when He made you. The education that got you the skills that got you the job? ... You get the point.
We become prideful when we start thinking that we are able to do “good” on, and by, our own capability. Only when we realize that God has given us everything we have that enables us to live generously, we can see that God alone gets the glory. Like a mother who lets their child “help” with cooking a meal, the mother did all the really important things that made the meal taste good. In the same way with living generously, it is God who is accomplishing good. He just lets us participate.
Today’s Generosity Challenge: This one will be hard. Through prayer, ask the Lord which of your attempts of a more generous life have you done this week out our your own desires or pride. Now, go to that recipient of your generosity and repent. Admit to them you gave for the wrong reason and you’re sorry. Ask them how you can make it up to them. Be sure to journal their response below.
About Michael Stickler
Mike is an author, radio host, and a highly sought after motivational speaker. His best-selling book, A Journey to Generosity, is widely acclaimed throughout the Christian community. He is the publisher of Generous Living Magazine and writes for the Christian Post, 'A Generous Life' column.