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Read:   Galatians 5:22-23

22 … the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and  self-control. There is no law against such things.

Generosity is an interesting “fruit of the Spirit”.  People in our day want to keep money separate from faith and spirituality.  We’ve all probably heard someone say that “churches only want your money”.  That sentiment is the “bitter fruit” produced by the con-men and TV evangelists who plead for money, while owning multimillion dollar mansions and multiple private jets. Still, the honest truth is that stewardship is a good indicator of spiritual health, and Jesus did not separate money from faith.  Jesus said, “where your treasure is, there your heart will be also”  (Luke 12:34).  So, yes, generosity is one of the “fruit of the Spirit”, and Paul names that for us.

Generous people have a different perspective on resources (time, money, talents).  It’s not a frivolous attitude.  It is more often an attitude of responsible stewardship and/or appropriate extravagance.  Here are a few of the things that I have heard from generous people of faith:

            “What I have, I have from God; it’s God’s money” 

            “I am blessed to be able to give more”

            “You can’t out-give God”

            “I have been blessed to be a blessing”

Generosity is not a measure of abundance and affluence.  I’ve met (many) generous Christians who are on fixed incomes.  Remember how the “widow’s mite” impressed Jesus?  In Luke 21:1-4, she gave two small copper coins, while others gave more.  Jesus said to His disciples, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all of them”.   I have also met affluent Christians who are not generous people.   Generosity is a good measure of spiritual health – like a thermometer indicates health or illness.   Generosity is an indicator of spiritual health; greedy or stingy attitudes are indicators of spiritual sickness.

Shalom,

Pastor Rob Nystrom