Why do we often struggle to be generous with our time or resources? Do we fear that we won’t have enough left over for ourselves? Do we fear the personal cost will be too great? We slip into thinking that when we give we lose. This is fixed-sum thinking--your gain is my loss.
Scripture calls us to open-sum thinking instead--your gain is my gain is our gain.
Need convincing? The Apostle Paul states clearly, “Our desire is not that others might be relieved while you are hard pressed, but that there might be equality. At the present time your plenty will supply what they need, so that in turn their plenty will supply what you need.
Then there will be equality, as it is written: "He who gathered much did not have too much, and he who gathered little did not have too little." (2 Cor. 8:13-15).
Jesus saw generosity not as losing but in reality as truly gaining. Listen to his words afresh, “For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me and for the gospel will save it. What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul?“ (Mark 8:35-36).
And finally, Paul reminds us that you can’t out-give God. “Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.” (2 Cor. 9:10-11).
As we look at our commitments, let’s not be ensnared by fixed-sum thinking but instead move on to mindset of generosity and following our Lord’s leading.