I keep hearing of your trust in the Lord Jesus and your love for all God’s people. You are generous because of your faith. And I am praying you will really put your generosity to work, for in so doing you will come to an understanding of all the good things we can do for Christ. (Philemon 1:5-6 NLT’96)
Your faith in Jesus bears fruit, and one kind of fruit borne by the authentic disciple is generosity toward people in need.
Far too often we stifle the impulse toward generosity. We may be limited by concern for our own welfare, by our suspicion that we are wasting time and resources on people who won’t change after all, by our ignorance of just how much God can do through us when we step out in faith.
As we press deeper into generosity, however, we begin to see we can do much more for others than we realize. God’s riches in Christ are released and the Holy Spirit transforms lives — both theirs and ours.
Of course, we must be sure our helping doesn’t hurt. Our soft-hearted initial impulse often leads us to offer a “cure” that in fact is toxic. Once we truly understand the needy person’s circumstances, once we clearly see what chains are binding the captive, we can move boldly and generously to set the captive free.
Don’t hold back from doing justice for the “hard cases.” Don’t be intimidated by the sheer enormity of social problems. Step boldly into generosity and see what God can do!