Generosity is optional in the sense that God gives us the freedom to choose, to do as we wish. It’s mandatory in that Jesus commands it and expects it of us. But I think it’s best to have a paradigm shift, to think of it as pure privilege with incredible rewards, both now and later.
The ancient book of Proverbs applies directly to our use of credit cards: “A prudent person foresees danger and takes precautions. The simpleton goes blindly on and suffers the consequences” (Proverbs 22:3).
Scripture says that “A good man leaves an inheritance for his children’s children” (Proverbs 13:22). As a result, many Christians defend and justify leaving vast sums of wealth to their children and grandchildren. I think in order to understand the principle behind this verse, we need to compare what an inheritance meant in biblical times, versus what an inheritance means in this culture today.
Someone has said, “Live simply that others may simply live.” Of course, there is no automatic relationship between my simple living and someone else being rescued from starvation or reached with the gospel.
To turn the tide of materialism in the Christian community, we desperately need bold models of kingdom-centered living.
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