There is a saying: “Some people are so stingy, they’ll squeeze a quarter until the eagle screams!” But this is no way to live for the Christian who understands the generosity of the Lord Jesus Christ. Let’s take a brief look.
In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross!” (Philippians 2:5-8)
If that passage does not present a solution to stinginess, I don’t know what will! These words, penned by the apostle Paul, are foundational to comprehending the generosity of Jesus in the Gospel.
Imagine the King of the universe making Himself nothing for you! The second person of the Trinity took on the nature of a servant: made in human likeness, born of the Virgin Mary, wrapped in swaddling clothes, and laid in a manger. The King of kings and the Lord of lords went from the glorious throne of heaven to a dark, smelly stable in Bethlehem.
If that wasn’t enough, Jesus humbled Himself by becoming obedient to death—and not just any death, but death by crucifixion. There is no greater picture of God’s love and care for you than His precious Son dying on a cross. God held nothing back in the redemption of His people . . . not even His precious Son!
Do you remember the account in Genesis 22, when Abraham went up Mount Moriah with his son Isaac, fully prepared to sacrifice Isaac for God? God graciously provided another sacrifice. God explained to Abraham, “Now I know you love me.” Of course, God always knew; it was Abraham who needed to know just how much he loved his God.
How much do we know that God loves us! He turned His Son over to the scourge, the nails, the cruel cross. Listen to me: the solution to stinginess is not found in trying harder to be more generous! It is to be found
in developing a deeper understanding of what God in Christ has done for us. Redoubling our efforts will always leave us frustrated and wanting. It is in redoubling our understanding of the truths of the Gospel that we will find freedom from slavery to our “stuff” and the ultimate solution to any kind of stinginess!
The more deeply we understand the generosity of Jesus, the more confident we become in looking only to Him for our security. We are free to give away what we have to bless others because we have everything we need in Him!
Only the Gospel can restructure our motivations and reorient our hearts to live for something bigger than ourselves. God refused to withhold anything we needed to be with Him. Our Lord gave up all His treasure in heaven in order to make us His treasure. We must let that truth guide our hearts and hands as we pour ourselves out for the cause of Christ in a way that brings glory to God and good to all others.
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!