By: Kendra VanderMuelen, Ralph Palmen High Ground Award Recipient 2015
For eight years, I’ve had the privilege of serving givers on behalf of National Christian Foundation (NCF). The mission of NCF is to mobilize resources by inspiring Biblical Generosity. We have been blessed to mobilize over $6B in 33 years due to the generosity of the givers we serve. Along the way, I have learned much about Biblical Generosity.
My biggest learning is the significant difference between giving/tithing and Biblical generosity. Giving/tithing are usually done out of obedience and a scarcity mindset which asks “what can I afford to give?” This is counter to the abundance mindset which trusts God will take care of us and therefore asks “what is reasonable for me to keep?” It is from this abundance mindset that we begin to experience the joy that comes from a life of generosity (2 Corinthians 9:7).
How do we get to that abundance/joyful/generous mindset? The first step is the realization that everything we have belongs to God (Psalm 24:1), and He has simply entrusted it to us to manage for our good and His glory. This brings a freedom in knowing we are not creators or owners of anything, but instead stewards of everything.
Next we must come to trust God to provide everything we need. God Himself is our protector, not the house, 401K, security system, or large car He has given us. In our culture we tend to live in the middle of Luke 12, between the rich fool, who lays up treasure for himself because he fears God won’t provide for his future, and Jesus telling us we were never meant to live in fear but to trust in Him, which removes all fear and frees us to lay up treasure in heaven.
Once we trust God to meet our needs, then we can allow all we’ve been given to be freely available to others. This is when things get more joyful, as we live into the principle of sowing and reaping: “whoever sows sparingly will reap sparingly, but whoever sows generously will reap generously.” 2 Corinthians 9 goes on to say that God will continually refresh us when we give generously, and that our generosity will bring glory to Him. What a blessed place to be! Free to overflow with generosity in all of life, cheerfully and joyfully sharing and being refreshed, and all the while bringing Glory to God! This is the life that is truly life (1 Timothy 6:19).