READ: Acts 4:1-5:42 (esp. v4:32-37)
- In a world characterized by a lack of generosity (the average American gives a mere 2.6% of their income to charity), acts of generosity stand out. The news seems compelled to commemorate (and rightly so) the magnanimous gifts of Bill and Melinda Gates ($45.5 billion, total), Jeff Bezos ($2 billion in 2018), Mark Zuckerberg (over $2 billion in 2017), and others. It’s exciting to see the generosity of Tiger Woods ($30 million), Derek Jeter ($1 million annually), and others. We appreciate the gifts of Oprah Winfrey to start schools in Africa.
- What may get our attention even more is the real generosity of ordinary people…like us. Among those identifying charitable gifts for the IRS, the surprising givers (by percentage) are those with incomes under $20,000 annually. They give approximately 4.6% of their income. Those making between $50k and $100k give a mere 2.5%. When the poor give, it should get our attention. The average gift of a $20k per year person would only be $920. But for someone making a $100k to do the same gift, they would need to give $4600 (they average only $2500).
- It’s little wonder that when people sold land and gave to the poor, it got attention. When people gave from their poverty, it got attention. When people give, not from their abundance and overflow, but from their meager existence, it causes people to wonder why that is happening. Generosity is a powerful “word” spoken into the surrounding community when the Christian community shares.
- Describe an act of generosity that arrested your attention.
- On a scale of 1 (disgruntled) to 10 (joyful), how would you rate your attitude toward being generous (with your time, money, energy, etc.)?
- Read and ponder 2 Corinthians 8:9.
PRAY: Thank God for His generosity. Pray that you might develop a joyful generosity. Pray that what you give impacts people deeply.