I was reading a thread on reddit a few nights ago on personal budgets and someone posted the Dave Ramsey budget which pegs giving at 10-15%, debt repayment at something like 5-10% and savings at 5-10%. I became extraordinarily enraged as I read more and more comments of people calling giving sacrificially “insane”.
I couldn’t figure out why that bothered me so much. I had a few ideas. Is it because the world in general and kids in particular would have much better lives if everyone gave at that level? Was it just a general distaste for the smell of greed? Was it insecurity?
And then today I was listening to a Christmas song and nearly lost it:
“Mild He lays His glory by. Born that man no more may die.”
And it hit me. Jesus gave it all up. He spared nothing out of His love and concern towards us. He laid it all on the line. He didn’t give 10-15%. He extravagantly gave it all. 100%. Fuller and more than anything we ever deserve. And we reject that. Over and over again God pours out His love to us and we reject it? Over. And over. And over.
Rejecting generosity rejects part of who God is. God is love, and love is extravagantly, sacrificially, exceedingly and wonderfully generous. If you are not generous, I’m not sure you have the Spirit in you. How could we hold back anything towards God or towards others when He held back nothing towards us?
I have often thought about why Christians should be generous. Because it helps people. Because we’re supposed to. Because we’re grateful. Because God invites us to be a part of things He is doing in the world.
None of these reasons are necessarily bad. But I am beginning to think… The best reason to give generously is this: Because the Spirit is generous.
More of It, less of me.