GENEROSITY (2 Corinthians 9:6-11) Reflection Thoughts: I have always been so encouraged by this verse. Do you know those people in your life that are just uber-generous? Like, every time you eat lunch or drink coffee together, they never let you pay. Or if you need some help with your lawn, they’re the first ones to show up with rake in hand. And always, always, jovial, with a smile on their faces? Like they just are the happiest when they can help out, when they get the chance to give away? I want to be like those people. I’m so far away from it, but they inspire me, spur me onwards. When I read these verses, it makes me think of these people. It also reminds me – that generosity multiplies, that generosity brings out happiness, and that generosity returns to you. 1. Whoever sows generously will also reap generously First, generosity multiplies. The Bible loves to use lots of agricultural parables, and this one is no exception. Think of generosity like a seed. I’m fascinated by seeds and plant growth – stick one little seed in the ground, and out comes either a flower, or a tree, or a veggie plant that just seems to keep growing and growing and growing. I remember growing 4 tomato plants a few summers ago. I think I must have harvested about 20 tomatoes a week for a month! I couldn’t keep up with my tomato plants! That’s what this verse is all about – sow generously – plant lots of seeds. Give to lots of people, to your friends, to strangers, to your coworkers – whoever! And to whomever you give, give lots to them! Give them time, give them money, give them presents on their birthdays, write them cards of encouragement, smile and laugh with them lots – give them the best of yourself. Plant those seeds. You can’t control what happens once you plant those seeds, but with time, sunshine, and rain (good times and bad) – those seeds will break open, and little green shoots will start to appear in the lives of those you’ve loved. And those seeds will just spill over and the harvest will be plentiful! That generosity will multiply beyond your wildest dreams in the lives, hearts, and “soil” of the people you’ve blessed! 2. Give what you have decided in your heart to give, for God loves a cheerful giver Second, generosity brings out happiness. Sometimes, we get so worried that if we give some money here, or volunteer time there, that I won’t have time or money for something else, or someone else. Well, yes, you’re right – by saying “yes” to one thing, then by definition in that very moment you are saying “no” to everything else. And that’s what this verse is encouraging you to embrace – it’s okay! Don’t be scared to say “yes” – don’t be scared of “missing out” of something else. God placed you in that moment in time, he presented you with that opportunity, he asked you to give in that very situation, and if it’s something that you feel called to – then enthusiastically say “yes”, and don’t look back! Be happy. Enjoy the moment. Enjoy the lighter pockets, the freedom of volunteering your time, the joy of being with people that need your love in that moment! Be a cheerful giver – and that giving will actually bring you even more cheer 3. You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion Third, generosity returns to you. Don’t be scared that once you “use” your time or money by giving it away that it will then be “gone”. No. Money comes and goes. Gave it away? You’ll have more some day. Time keeps coming. If you give away a minute, then another minute will follow right after that – and once again you can choose to give it away or spend it on something else. Not only that, but God promises that the more generous you are, the more you’ll be given so that you can keep on giving!! What?! That’s a crazy promise. He doesn’t promise that generosity will make you rich – nope – he just promises that if he can trust you as a generous steward of his gifts, he’ll just give you more gifts to steward for others!! Wow, don’t you just want to be used by Him like that? I sure do!