Diocese of Manchester

The ninth theme we are exploring for #MoreThanSunday is Generosity.

Freely you have received, freely give. 

Matthew 10:8

If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles. Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you. 

Matthew 5:41- 42

God loves a cheerful giver. 

2 Corinthians 9:7

A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed. 

Proverbs 11:25

Podcast episode nine: Generosity

Reflection

I believe true generosity involves being compassionate, extravagant, unconditional, and selfless with all that we are, have and own – just like Jesus did when he gave his life on the cross for us.

The Bible teaches us to be generous. In Matthew 10:8 Jesus says, “freely you have received, freely give”.

It starts with something as simple as a smile, asking how someone is, seeing the best in them, a random act of kindness, extending our table to include others.

I don’t know about you, but I’m ok at being generous when it’s convenient to me and my wallet. But when it isn’t, that’s when I start grumbling and making excuses. I’m quick to walk past the homeless person because ‘I’m too busy’ or even worse I’m in such a rush I haven’t even noticed them.

Our natural human instinct is to look after ourselves. The way generosity becomes a way of life is as Jesus helps us by the power of his Holy Spirit living in us.

In 2 Corinthians 9:7 Paul says “God loves a cheerful giver.” Recently I went to Hong Kong to visit the inspirational Christian leader Jackie Pullinger and her team. They love and serve the poor, sharing their families, possessions and homes – and they do it with compassionate, and happy hearts. They are the real deal!

Whilst there, I met someone who had been a drug addict and criminal. He ran away 17 times – the team welcomed him again and again with unconditional love. He now is a missionary in China! Jackie Pullinger’s team put into action Matthew 5:41- 42: “If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles. Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.”

As a parent, I am so proud when my kids are kind to others. I believe that’s how God feels about us when he sees his children being generous to the people we meet.

By being generous to others, not only does it honour God’s design for our lives and fill that person’s love tank, but it refills ours too! Proverbs 11:25 says, “A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed.”

My church runs a project called ‘Bags of Hope’: we fill with practical goodies given to those most vulnerable in our City. Someone who had filled one Bag of Hope put in a very expensive perfume, not just your average deodorant. You should have seen the look on the face of the vulnerable woman when she opened her bag! That was extravagant generosity.

Generosity will cost us. But our new life in Christ cost him everything, too. Are we willing to have our dairies, busy lives, and bank accounts be interrupted by God to be generous with those that we meet today, to show love in action? To be like our Heavenly Father, seeking to be a blessing in all that we do and have?

Lizzy Robinson,Team Leader & Community Worker, Saint Philip’s Chapel Street

Suggested Actions

  • Set up a regular donation to a charity you care about, perhaps with money saved from what you’ve given up for Lent.
  • Give your time - volunteer at church in a role you haven’t before, or at a local project
  • Give a listening ear to someone who needs to talk
  • Challenge your church to talk about giving differently

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The Church of England Diocese of Manchester,
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90 Deansgate,
Manchester M3 2GH

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Telephone: 0161 828 1400