Core Statement: We will lead the way with irrational generosity. We truly believe it is more blessed to give than to receive.
This week we are looking at different values for our church. On Tuesday, we talked about being faith-filled, big thinking, bet the farm risk takers and today we are talking about irrational generosity.
What makes this value so important to me is because it was something I had to learn. As I have mentioned on multiple occasions, I grew up with a scarcity mindset. That means that you have this feeling that there’s simply not enough to go around and you’d better get yours while you can. As I learned what tithing was, I was afraid to do it because of that scarcity mindset, the fear of letting go. Now I look back and wonder what I was thinking. God created a universe that’s bigger than we can imagine. So how big is God, exactly? He is so huge that he is not bound by time or space, not needing or wanting for anything, and capable of creating our entire universe. Yet he is personal enough to have created us in his own image. The Psalmist said: “When I look at the night sky and see the work of your fingers— the moon and the stars you set in place—what are mere mortals that you should think about them, human beings that you should care for them? Yet you made them only a little lower than God and crowned them with glory and honor.” (Psalms 8:3-5) So blessing my generosity was not a big problem for God. In reality, I had seen over and over again the miraculous provision of God and I started to understand that 90 percent with His blessings goes a whole further than what I could accomplish by holding onto all 100 percent. I now default to being more generous, rather than less.
In 2 Corinthians, Paul writes to the church in Corinth about the Macedonians who were dirt poor, yet gave a big gift. Paul was bragging on them: “In the midst of a very severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity.” – 2 Corinthians 8:2. They simply gave from what they had. They were honored to give to the mission of Jesus Christ. First, they gave their lives to Christ. And then they gave of themselves to others.
He continues in verses 4, 5 and 7 in Chapter 8: “They begged us again and again for the privilege of sharing in the gift for the believers in Jerusalem. They even did more than we had hoped, for their first action was to give themselves to the Lord and to us, just as God wanted them to do…Since you excel in so many ways—in your faith, your gifted speakers, your knowledge, your enthusiasm, and your love from us — I want you to excel also in this gracious act of giving.”
We want to be a church of irrational generosity at Northstar. We truly believe it is more blessed to give than to receive. The fact is we have of hundreds of crazy people out there looking for opportunities to be irrationally generous. If you are a follower of Jesus, I want to encourage you to be irrationally generous. It becomes a mindset. It becomes who we are. Isaiah 32:8 says, “But generous people plan to do what is generous, and they stand firm in their generosity.” (NLT)
When all of culture says “consume,” a generous person stands firm and says “give.” Giving isn’t what we occasionally do, generous is who we are.
As followers of Jesus, we should be irrationally generous because we serve a generous God.
1. When is the last time that you gave as much as you were able, and maybe even pushed it beyond that?
2. Think of someone who’s irrationally generous. Describe what has caused them to earn that reputation. How can you make generosity something that you plan for and stand firm for?
3. Share a time when you felt blessed from giving to others. How does it compare to other things that bring you joy?
4. What keeps you from giving more? What are you trying to protect when you choose against greater generosity?
5. What’s one change you need to make in your life in order to become more intentional or generous in your giving?