5 Reasons Why You’re (Probably) Not as Generous as You Should Be!

by Jason on July 29, 2010

I’m constantly struck by how many times the Bible mentions  helping the poor and needy!

What kills me is that I read that and think to myself, why is it that I’m not as concerned as I should be when it comes to helping the poor, weak and marginalized members of society?

If God has such a huge heart for them and cares deeply for their needs, what is it about me that needs to change?

My guess is that you and I are in the same boat.  Sure, we care about the poor, but if we were honest with ourselves and others – we’d have to admit that we aren’t as generous as we should be!

So, as usual, I take the areas that I’m convicted in and try to turn it into a post.

I started brainstorming some reasons why we, as Americans, are not as generous as we should be.  American Christians are the wealthiest Christians to have ever lived (does Solomon count?) and yet we, on average, give a measly 3% to church and I imagine much less to the poor and needy.

So here are five reasons why we are not as generous as we should be:

Pride

I worked hard to get where I am today!  The poor need to get off their butts and get jobs!  If I did it, they can too!”

Ever think that?

You know what their problem is, they’re just too lazy!”

They milk the system

They want everything for free!”

Ever say those things?

That’s a sure sign you suffer from pride.  You are great and they are not.  Unfortunately, it’s not that simple.  Many poor folks are victims of circumstance.  Not all, but many of them.

Many of them would love to get jobs and work hard, but they lack opportunities – or they lack the education, the transportation, the network, the social skills, the marketing skills etc. etc.

Ask yourself this – if you were born into those same circumstances that many of our poor are born into, what would you be doing today?

Be careful with pride – God hates it, and it kills your generosity!

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Debt

Credit card debt, over-extended mortgages, home equity lines, auto loans – they all have a way of choking out generosity because our additional resources are going towards monthly payments!

So many Christians are paying ridiculous amounts of interest on stuff they thought they needed. Most of those trinkets will end up in a landfill in a few short years.

We are far to easily amused by gadgets and other items that we’ll plunge ourselves into crazy debt in search of joy.

What if we as Christians decided to simplify our lifestyles and live debt free?  Imagine how generous we could be without massive debt looming over our heads.

Greed

Jesus warns people way more often about greed than he does about sex and yet almost no one thinks they’re guilty of greed.

I think we all need to begin with an attitude of “this could definitely be an issue for me”.

Because greed hides so deeply, and is so pervasive in our westernized, American Dream culture , we need to take a serious look at our own hearts.

Are we clamoring for more stuff and squeezing out generosity in the mean time?

Stinginess

Proverbs 23:6-7 says, “Do not eat the bread of a man who is stingy; do not desire his delicacies, for he is like one who is inwardly calculating. “Eat and drink!” he says to you, but his heart is not with you.”

Penny-pinchers do not have generous hearts – they calculate every last cent to ensure no one gets more than they should.

Busyness

Busyness robs us of true wealth.  We miss opportunities to be generous when we’re overly busy.

We often numb ourselves with self-centered activities, hobbies, and endeavors and give little regard to our neighbors let alone the poor, weak and disenfranchised.

Are we too busy to give freely of our time and money?

What About You?

Any other reasons why you’re not as generous as you should be?

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