We're Compelled To Love

Generosity = Love? What does that mean? You may think, “I’m pretty sure I know what love means?” But do you? Now we aren’t talking about Eros love or a romantic type of love. But a sacrificial, Agape kind of love. A love that we need to show to everyone as Christ has done for us. A love that we show to even our enemies. That is where generosity comes in. You know, It is rather easy to love my friends. It’s rather simple to love my parents or my wife. Why? Because I know they love me back. I show love to them and they show love to me. It seems simple. But what about people who don’t love you? Who don’t like you? Who are not friendly and sometimes downright mean to you? I bet you have somebody in mind as you read this.

We so often are of the mindset that if you aren’t nice to me, I won’t be nice to you. I won’t even have a nice thought about you; or give you any piece of myself. Not my time, not my help, no thoughts of goodwill. And I especially won’t give you any of my love. These thoughts hinder us from the truth. From the true meaning of generosity and from what Christ has in store.

When we think of generosity, our mind doesn’t think of love, it automatically goes to money. Ben said something this past week that stuck with me, “The thing that makes this kind of generosity so hard is that it costs so much more than money.” Generosity doesn’t come from your wallet; it comes from your heart. When we hear someone described as generous, our mind quickly goes to the thought, “Well, they have a lot of money and like to give it.” But it’s not that simple. There is so much more. It is being generous with your love, your life, and your time. Don’t stifle those. Jesus, in Matthew 5 called us to be generous with our love, with our hearts, and with ourselves. He says in Matt. 5:47, “If you are kind only to your friends, how are you different from anyone else? Even pagans do that.”

He has challenged us to not only love the people that are easy to love, but to love the ones that are hard to love. To freely give your heart and pray for those who are against you. To be generous with your love and expect nothing in return. That is hard for us in todays world, because we live in a gratification kind of society. If I give you “this" or I do a service for you, I expect you to return the favor. We need to throw our expectations out the window and help, love, and give of ourselves and our time; without ever expecting repayment.

And giving up your time for someone doesn’t always have to mean that they see you giving them your time. Giving up your time for them in prayer is such an awesome act of love. Petitioning to the Father on behalf of someone else who you would consider your enemy is exactly what Jesus has instructed us to do. It’s about what we talked about last week. It is about changing hearts, and it starts from within. It starts with changing our hearts. It starts with you. And it all points to Jesus.

We don’t help others so they will like us or so they will give back to us. The reason we are to be generous and show love to others is because it is a proclamation of who Christ is and who Christ is in us. It gives them a picture of Jesus.

To model Jesus, we are called to be different. To be different than the world around us. We, as followers of Christ, need to be constantly driven by generosity and love, as Jesus has done for us. Be different. Be love. Be generous.

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