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There are lots of reasons why being generous could be bad.  Even sinful.

Doing it so others will think highly of you.  Doing it for some kind of return that you will receive later.  Doing it to benefit one group of people so that another group will suffer.

All those are borderline idolatry.  And Selfish at best… racist at worst.

But obviously, generosity is a very good thing.  If we can avoid those bad motivations, then we can take care of others with a pure heart.

Here are 4 reasons you should be generous.

Ease the pain of this difficult life for others. #generosity Click To Tweet

1. Be Generous out of Obedience

hallwayInterestingly, the New Testament does not give a single command for anyone to give a certain amount.

But it does say that we must give with a cheerful heart, be hospitable (especially to strangers), meet urgent needs, and take care of people.

Couple that with the commands of the Old Testament to Israel to tithe, giving 10% of their income to the temple, widows, orphans, and foreigners.

It’s clear that God wants us to be generous.  One good reason to give to others is simply because God has commanded it.  And if you love God, then you will obey all He commands.

2. Be Generous out of Thankfulness

Look around you.  If you live in the United States, in a house/apartment/condo, and you’re reading this on a smartphone, tablet, or personal computer, then you are extremely rich compared to the rest of the world.

As if that wasn’t enough, God sent his only Son to die for your sins, saving you from punishment.

We have been given so much.  If you have the right perspective, you understand that you have a lot to be grateful for.

Recognize that everything you have is from God.  So share it with people because you’re thankful.

Recognize that everything you have is from #God. Click To Tweet

3. Be Generous for Eternal Rewards

“Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share.  In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.”

1 Timothy 6:17-19 (emphasis mine)

train trackAs you can see, being generous in this life brings rewards to in the coming age – eternity, the new earth, the resurrection, however you want to refer to it.

In the intro of this article, I wrote that it is wrong to give if you are just seeking some kind of return later on.  That’s true… when it comes to man-made returns.  When the expected return is from God, you demonstrate faith, love, and gratitude.

Those are all things which please Him.

4. Be Generous for the Common Welfare

And finally (though maybe it should be higher up on the list.  Maybe even first), we get to taking care of people simply because you have their interests at heart.  You love them.

That is a beautiful thing.

Give generously so that those around you will be taken care of.  So that they you can ease the pain of this difficult life for them.  So that you can encourage the hearts of those around you.

That is how you change a city.


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Also published on Medium.