Reality check, no one knows why some people are stingy. Attempts to explain this behavior is enormous. Some suspect money or possession is not the issue. It is deeper than that. Others blame people’s upbringing to such extreme poverty and deprivation. These could be the cause. However, some with too much wealth have proven to be the worse stingy you could imagine. Fear is the other suspect: fear of losing wealth. Fear of slipping back into poverty, therefore greed takes over them. Hoarding is their way to security from running out of supply.
The Bible gives light in understanding this behavior. You will understand this behavior as you learn the opposite – generosity. Why some people are generous? Dictionary defines generosity as liberal in giving marked by abundance or ample proportions. Study shows that generous people are happy, secure, and live longer. They’re not cheap. They enjoy the fruit of their labor, and eat the best food they can get. They have lots of friends. They’re not stressed out and don’t worry about giving. The truth is generosity reflects and manifests positive living.
The Apostle Paul wrote to Philemon, “And I am praying that you will put into action the generosity that comes from your faith as you understand and experience all the good things we have in Christ.” (Philemon 6 NLT)
Generous giving comes by the act of faith. And this faith is based on your understanding and experience of all the good things you have in Christ. The most generous people are those who have the understanding and at the same time experiencing what they have in Christ. In short, they know who they are and what they have in Christ. They enjoy the privileges of being a child of God. They’re able to apply the Word of God in every aspect of their lives. They are established “In Christ.”
In Christ, you have riches. You have been blessed in every spiritual blessing in Him in the heavenly places. You have been blessed beyond you can think and ask for. You possess the blessings of Abraham. You have been given the things that pertain to life. No matter what situation you’re in, you always triumph in Christ. You are more than conqueror and always an overcomer. You and your children’s children shall never beg for bread because you are blessed by God.
Be advised, you can be delivered out from being stingy only if you understand and able to experience the good things you have in Christ. You don’t need someone to explain to you in Greek or Hebrew to be able to understand and experience what you have in Christ. You don’t need to be a rocket scientist, a theologian, a person with doctorate degrees or scholar in all divinities or whatever to comprehend the written word of God. Spirit of God will teach you and guide you into all truth.
As a matter of fact, the apostle Paul has written his epistles specifically to the church. His intention was to address issues with the brethren – the believers. His writings were not intended for the students of seminaries. The epistles were not for the unbelievers. Paul wrote these letters to edify and build up the church. Oh yes, for doctrine also – which is the doctrine of Christ. The doctrine of Christ is liberty, through the grace of God and by faith in Jesus. In Christ, you have freedom from the bondage of law/s. You have been made free from the laws of sin and death. You have been justified by faith in Christ.
Generosity is giving. You can only give what you have. You cannot give what you do not have. You can boldly share Jesus to someone because you have Jesus in your heart. The same applies with generous giving. Through understanding and experiencing what you have in Christ, you become generous. When you have Christ in you, you can give up anything in this world. In Christ you have everything in this world, and you reign in life because of Him.
“Because of that cross, my interest in this world has been crucified, and the world’s interest in me has also died.” (Galatians 6:14b NLT)
Christ was hanged and nailed on the cross because of you. On that cross, Jesus nailed and crucified the lust of this world, the greed of this world, and the desires of this world for you. This world is ruled by the lust of the devil. This world is the ultimate manifestation of the devil’s distorted and perverted wisdom, full of lies and rebellion against God. In a heartbeat the devil will let you savor this world’s perverted glory if you submit to him. He will let you wallow in the lust thereof, and ultimately destroy you without mercy.
Don’t be fooled, the devil will never give the good life to anyone. There is no goodness in him. He is the father of lie and incapable of telling the truth. When he opens his mouth he perverts the word of God and lies. He cannot stand the truth, because the word of God is the truth. Although the devil uses the word of God to win you, he perverts and twists it. Have you noticed how Jesus resisted the devil’s temptation? Jesus had spoken the word of God. So stay on the Word. You have to speak the Word of God just like Jesus did.
The epistles of Paul reveal what the church’s possessions in Christ, and what Christ has done to every member of the Body of Christ. In Christ, you can handle the pressures of this world. Paul boldly confesses that the world’s interest in him has also died. The world cannot hold Paul. Paul was able to trash everything for the sake of knowing Christ.
You as a child of God can do the same. This distorted and perverted world has no comparison to the beauty of Christ. It is impossible for those who have tasted the goodness of God to backslide in their faith. No one in his right mind would go back and consume his own vomit. The moment you experience what you have in Christ, you can able to give up everything the world has to offer for the sake of knowing Him.
The Almighty and all powerful God came to earth and suffer for your sake. If God has given His Son to die for you, how much more your Father in heaven give you His protection from all the works of the devil – sin, sickness, and poverty. As a child of God, He has blessed you with all exceeding blessings. Don’t limit God. Don’t limit the grace of God. The grace of God is beyond what you can think or imagine or ask for. It is the generous grace of God.
In 2 Corinthians 8:9 (NLT), “You know the generous grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. Though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that by his poverty he could make you rich.”
In 2 Corinthians 9:11 (NLT), “Yes, you will be enriched in every way so that you can always be generous.”
There you go. Ignorance of what you have in Christ will lead you to become a nasty stingy person. It is the will of God that you always be generous. If you’re one of those who do not believe in the principle of tithing, and of giving of financial offerings to a local church setting, then the word of God is challenging you to be generous always. If you don’t trust giving to a local church, then be generous to give to the needy and to the poor. Volunteer to visit the poverty-stricken and give them something to survive the cruelty of the day. Get out of your comfort zone and travel to one of the most poverty stricken local church on the face of the earth. Give them something to survive the brutal hardship and need of the moment.
Or you don’t have to go anywhere to show your generosity. Why don’t you start generosity in your household? Be generous to your wife, husband, children and the rest of the extended family. You can also show generosity to yourself. Why not? When was the last time you treated yourself with a decent meal? How about having a memorable and grandeur vacation? Didn’t you know that life is good? Go ahead make your day and be generous to yourself.