Sunday, March, 5, 2017 | 3:51 PM | by ledington
Focus Scripture: 2 Corinthians 8: 1 - 2
Just two chapters ago (in 2 Corinthians), we were talking about appreciation, now we are talking about generosity. The etymology of “generosity” suggests that to be generous was literally “to belong to nobility” according to nd.edu. The Greek word that is translated to generous is haplotace; also translated as “liberality”, “bountifully” or “singleness”.
On the surface, a lot of people – and I would include many members of the United Methodist Church in this – associate generosity with the implication of money (Extravagant Generosity is all about stewardship; therefore it's about money,right? ). But I argue that generosity (as well as stewardship) has very little to do actually with money. Oh, to be sure – it does, but only in the world.
You know, that there is another biblical word that has been transformed to have a financial meaning: "Charity". For instance, the King James Version of 1 Corinthians 13 refers to Faith, Hope and Charity.
I know, I know – I’m being a word geek again, but let’s look at our list of words we have here:
Appreciation, Generosity, Liberality, Bountifully, Singleness, Charity
Okay, Yes – they could relate to money; but what if … what if when we talk about this we look at this through the eyes of Matthew 6: 24, “No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.” Do you remember the last paragraph of my blog on Appreciate? What if being generous is about a total heart transformation? Giving our whole heart to God, to serve Him unconditionally without looking at our bank account.
I know very well that some of us have experienced the amazingly enigmatic equation of serving; whether on a mission trip, leading a group, or just having a Spirit-led chat with someone who needed a word from God and feeling like you’ve received so much more than you have given. True generosity is not an equation. There is no “How to” book for this because it is led by the Holy Spirit. Hmmm – maybe that original interpretation is the most accurate after all - perhaps generosity truly is to belong to nobility.