God’s Heart of Generosity - Tyler Jarvis
Tyler Jarvis |
January 14, 2024
“Remember: A stingy planter gets a stingy crop; a lavish planter gets a lavish crop. I want each of you to take plenty of time to think it over, and make up your own mind what you will give. That will protect you against sob stories and arm-twisting. God loves it when the giver delights in the giving.” 2 Corinthians 9:6-7
If you’re anything like me, I’m not much of a gardener. I’ve never actually been on a farm (other than picking apples in September or pumpkins in October) and I don’t know the first thing about how to grow plants. However, I do know that if you don’t tend to plants, they won’t grow.
When I was in first grade, my elementary school sent everyone home with an evergreen tree and told us to plant it. I told my parents that afternoon, “I know exactly where it should go” and proceeded to plant this tree at the very back corner of our backyard. I had it all planned out; it was the spot that had the most sunlight, would be covered at times but also would be able to get enough rainfall, and would be in perfect view from my bedroom window. Everyday for a year I would take my little watering jug and water this one little tree in the back corner of our yard. I wanted to make sure that this tree would grow tall and strong.
As I reflect on that little tree, I wonder if God was inviting me to learn how to be a “lavish planter” even with a little tree in my parents’ backyard. I wonder if God was showing me that generosity is about “why” to give as opposed to just “what” to give.
When we read the biblical story, God models generosity not out of any obligation, but out of a love that he lavishes on us, like water to a thirsty plant. From the garden He created for Adam and Eve; the Promised Land that He gave the Israelites out of Egypt; all the way to the gift of Jesus–the One who paid the debt of sin that we never could–God has modeled a heart of generosity out of a deep love for His people. When we are generous, we are acting with a similar character to the very heart of who God has always been and always will be.
What would it look like to shift your mentality of generosity to model the heart and character of God? Later in 2 Corinthians 9, Paul quotes the psalmist who says: “He throws caution to the winds, giving to the needy in reckless abandon. His right-living, right-giving ways never run out, never wear out.” Let us be the type of people who model God’s heart of generosity.