I’m endeavoring to cultivate a generous spirit this year.

If you looked at our checkbook register or tax return over the last several years, it wouldn’t be unreasonable to say that we’ve been generous with what God’s given us.  I’m not bragging; I’m thankful the Lord has allowed us to understand the importance of giving and to partner in his work.

But truthfully it hasn’t been a comprehensive, all-inclusive generosity.  There are other areas apart from my charitable giving where I haven’t been as generous, namely gift-giving and giving of my time, among other things.

So I’m trying to change that, because it’s clear in Scripture that generosity = obedience.  God is generous to us.  He doesn’t withhold good things from us (Psalm 84:11, Romans 8:32).  He calls us to do the same.

And what does obedience lead to?  Blessing.  I want the Lord’s blessing over my life, whatever that looks like for me.  (Did you know it looks different for different people?)

The connection between generosity and blessing is described better in Proverbs 11:24-25 better than just about anywhere else:

Give freely and become more wealthy;
be stingy and lose everything.

The generous will prosper;
those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed.

God doesn’t change.  Blessing has always been tied to obedience, all the way back to when God made a covenant with Abraham, and then with the nation of Israel under Moses.  Obedience didn’t change whether or not they were God’s people (and it doesn’t change whether or not we’re his children), but it did affect God’s blessing in their lives!

God doesn’t bless disobedience.  He blesses obedience, and generosity is obedience.

I’m going to continue to do my best to live generously.  That’s what God does for us, and that’s what he calls us to do for the good of others, and for our own good.