The Generosity Trap
Thursday, 30th of November 2023
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In our churches and ministries, we often encounter situations that challenge our understanding of generosity, stewardship, and trust. One such scenario is when fellow believers ask for financial help. While our hearts may urge us to give, wisdom and discernment are essential in these moments.
The Bible teaches us to be generous and kind-hearted, as seen in Proverbs 19:17, "Whoever is kind to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will reward them for what they have done." However, over the years, I have seen that frequent borrowing within the church can lead to complex situations. Some individuals, unfortunately, exploit the kindness of fellow believers, borrowing repeatedly without repayment, causing friction and hurt. This behaviour not only strains relationships but can also disrupt harmony within the church.
The scripture provides guidance on this issue. Psalm 37:21 states, "The wicked borrow and do not repay, but the righteous give generously." This verse highlights a fundamental difference between the act of giving and the act of lending. Lending expects repayment and can create a bond of obligation, whereas giving is an act of free will without the expectation of return.
Being generous doesn't mean we should lack common sense. It's vital to pray for wisdom, as James 1:5 advises, "If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you." This wisdom helps us discern when to give, how much to give, and whom to give to. It’s about balancing our desire to help with the stewardship of the resources God has entrusted to us.
As members of a church, we play a role in preserving its unity and peace. Ephesians 4:3 urges us to "Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace." When faced with situations of repeated borrowing, it’s important to address them with love, wisdom and perhaps involve church leadership to find a solution that maintains the church’s harmony. If you find individuals who are repeatedly borrowing, it is your duty to report such in confidence to the pastors. Your prompt action may save a lot of trouble.
Our journey of faith calls us to be generous yet wise.
As we navigate these waters, let us remember that our ultimate trust and reliance are on God, who is the provider of all our needs.
[Let me know your thoughts in the comments section below👇]
Heavenly Father, guide us in our giving and instill in us a spirit of generosity coupled with wisdom. Help us to reflect Your love and grace in our actions. May our gifts be seeds of Your blessing, growing in the hearts of others. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
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