When I was younger, one time I forgot to turn off the faucet. Now that would not have been such a big problem if I had not also put the stopper down. The end result was the sink filled up and overflowed.
Romans 5:5 says, “God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us”. Before you dismiss this as just Paul giving us some theological jargon, understand that Paul had been raised and trained in a very law-conscious school of thought. He knew what it was like to feel as though he could never measure up. He knew the shameful and harmful effects of a religion that said that no matter how hard you tried, you would never be good enough.
And then Paul came into touch with God’s grace through Jesus Christ. And he suddenly became aware of God’s generous love, a love that cannot be turned off, that fills up and overflows the heart of each believer.
In the very next verse Paul writes, “For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly”. In other words, this was no conditional generosity.
It was a generosity that overflows from heaven, even though we have done nothing to deserve it. In fact, we have often shaken our fist in the face of that love the same way a teenager will sometimes irrationally rebel against their family.
God is generous. And His generosity is a pattern for us to adopt. At the heart of our giving we are to have a certain mindset: we are to give to the one in need, the one who is weak, the one who is oppressed not because they beg us to do so—not because they promise to flood us with praise—not because we expect immediate results. But we give because we love.
We are to give because God gave. We are to give as God gave. And we are to give as generously as God gave.
This month of November I want to invite you to experience generous living. When we give thanks during this holiday season, we are thanking a God who is generous beyond belief. When we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, we are celebrating the greatest gift ever given. Might the end result be a community of generosity that overflows.