“When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them.” Mt 9:36 NIV
In spite of economic challenges, people in the United States still live in the world’s most prosperous country. Yet less than 3 percent of their income goes to charity; that’s lower than it was during the Great Depression. You say, “If I ever get a lot of money I’ll be generous.” Who are you kidding! Prosperity has little to do with generosity. Jesus said, “Where your treasure is [invested], there your heart will be also” (Mt 6:21 NIV). The median income in the state of Mississippi is the lowest in the country, yet it leads the nation in charitable giving. By contrast, New Hampshire leads the nation when it comes to personal income, but guess where it ranks in charitable giving? At the bottom! Financial expert Daniel Levin says, “Prosperity isn’t in what you’ve attained, but rather in what you give away.” The truth is, if you want to become a more generous person you can’t wait for your income to increase; you must allow God to change your heart. That means looking for a reason to give every day, and finding a compelling cause or a worthy ministry. And you won’t have to look far; they’re all around you. The Bible says of Jesus, “When he saw the [crowds], he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless.” When it comes right down to it the recipients of our generosity aren’t really churches, causes, or institutions. They’re people—people loved and valued by God; people for whom Christ died. So what are you doing for others? How you answer that question is the measure of your generosity!
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