At the end of June, my church is having Terry Appel in to speak on several nights.
One of the bylines from the descriptions says that, "Terry's passion is to help people move from poverty to generosity in God's love."
I like that phrase: "From poverty to generosity."
Many Christians and Leaders want to go from poverty to prosperity. We hear it from Name-It-And-Claim-It and Prosperity Gospel preachers all the time. They are always trying to justify their purchase of a new Jaquar or multi-million dollar home.
But our call is not to prosperity. Our call is to generosity. We are given more so that we can give more away. I don't necessarily mean that all our giving must go to and through the local church, though I do believe that Christians are to be financially responsible and supporting of their local church through regular tithing.
I think that a Christians life is to be one of abundant, overwhelming, overflowing generosity. Generosity that is not just found in our money, though this is a key place where it shows up, but generosity in our every day life. Generosity shows up in how we forgive, how we love, how patient we are, how much we tip our waiter or waitress, how we treat our neighbor.
Generosity is rooting in our realization that all this world has to offer is not ours to possess; it is simply on loan from God. It is living life with an open hand to others. Money is a key area where a lack of generosity rears its head, but for the church, we must be very careful because our lack of generosity shows up most frequently in our lack of love and forgiveness to others.
We want to lead with what we believe or what the person should believe or how the person should act. The Bible does not tell us to determine whom we offer forgiveness and love to based upon our evaluation of their behavior. We are to love our neighbor as ourself.
There was an old Vietnam/military type shirt that said, "Kill 'em all, Let God sort 'em out!" I think we should change that for the church, "Love 'em all, Let God sort it out!"