Have you ever been the recipient of a random act of kindness?
Perhaps you were at the drive-thru and someone ahead of you paid for your coffee? Or maybe someone brought over a meal when you were down and out with the flu? A friend of mine told me that someone she just met at the hair salon secretly paid for her haircut! It’s always amazing, isn’t it, to be on the receiving end of generosity? But I dare say that as great as it felt for you to receive it, it felt just as great for the person who gave it.
Long before the #Metoo movement, there was another movement called Pay it Forward. (“Pay it Forward” was an expression for describing the beneficiary of a good deed repaying it to others instead of to the original benefactor). The hope was to pay kindness forward.
You would never “pay it forward” with resentment or anger, it was done with joy and a generous spirit. Interestingly, what people found was that the more you gave the better you felt. There is even research that has found a neural link between generosity and happiness.
I love what Paul says in 2 Corinthians 9:6-7:
6 Remember this—a farmer who plants only a few seeds will get a small crop. But the one who plants generously will get a generous crop. 7 You must each decide in your heart how much to give. And don’t give reluctantly or in response to pressure. “For God loves a person who gives cheerfully.” (NLT)
God loves a cheerful giver! There’s no point in giving if it’s done reluctantly, under compulsion or out of obligation. We need to be giving out of a genuine desire to be a blessing to someone else. And as God prompts us - we should give generously and give cheerfully.
On Sunday (check out the messages link if you missed it) we talked about one of the big hurdles to not giving is the fear that we won’t have enough (a scarcity mindset). But if we put God first, you will find, like I have that 90% with God’s blessing is far better than 100% without.
We all know people who, once they have something, don't ever want to let it go. But the Bible tells us that as we give, God will give to us.
Verse 8 says, "And God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others. (NLT).
So dear friends, as God blesses you, go ahead, be generous and bless others because it is more blessed to give than to receive. (Act 20:35 NIV)