When it comes to giving our resources, we have a natural bent of being foolish and greedy. Consequently, we give any gift to ourselves. A non-profit corporation CEO offers a favor to a potential donor whom he will ask later for a charitable contribution that will advance his agenda for the organization. He gave the gift to himself. A busy husband reluctantly adheres to his wife’s request to pick up the kids from school only so he might find his reward from her that night. He gave the gift to himself. A car salesman buys lunch for a prospective new car purchaser. He gave the gift to himself. A politician serves the homeless for five minutes by filling their plates with food at a local soup kitchen while the television cameras capture the footage. The airing will garner him votes. He gave the gift to himself.
Jesus’ disciple Peter addressed this pattern by offering God’s design, “Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms” (1 Peter 4:10). We were designed to be generous with our gifts of time, talent, and treasure. God desires that we use them to serve, faithfully administering divine grace — His undeserved love — in its various forms. We were designed to use our gifts received vertically to serve those horizontally, so that they connect vertically with the grace of the Generous One.
This week, generously use your God-given time, talent, and treasure to serve someone in need, faithfully administering the unmerited favor of our Creator. Both of you will connect intimately with the Spirit of the Generous One.