The world of the generous gets larger ...
The desires of good people lead straight to the best, but wicked ambition ends in angry frustration. The world of the generous gets larger and larger; the world of the stingy gets smaller and smaller. The one who blesses others is abundantly blessed; those who help others are helped. Curses on those who drive a hard bargain! Blessings on all who play fair and square! The one who seeks good finds delight; the student of evil becomes evil. -Proverbs 11:23-27 MSG
As I read these verses my mind flashed back to a time in 1984 when I was negotiating the purchase of the home I would live in for 18 years. I had reached an impasse with the seller and, out of frustration, I began to pray. As I knelt beside my bed these questions came to me: "What is your motive? Is it to rob this man?" Yikes! The questions confronted me with my desire to get the best of the seller. I had a similar prayerful interaction when I sold my house as well.
What is it in us that wants to get the best of another human being? Is it greed or pride? Is it the same motive that causes us to be stingy with a hard working waiter or waitress? Why do we not want to bless the other party with the better deal? These question hit to the heart of what it means to be generous. In a sense generosity is giving a person more than they deserve. This kind of generosity stretches us to the max and causes us to embrace outrageous grace.
Help us today dear Father to embrace the kind of generosity that you had when you sent Jesus to live amongst us.