The Paradox of Generosity
Posted: Tuesday, February 13
Verse of the day:
Finally the craftsmen who were working on the sanctuary left their work. They went to Moses and reported, “The people have given more than enough materials to complete the job the Lord has commanded us to do!” (Exodus 36:4-5 NLT)
In Exodus 36, the people of Israel were called to provide the construction materials needed to build the Tabernacle. Isn’t it a bit strange? Why ask a nation of homeless-slaves who are wandering in the wilderness for whatever little they had? Why would an all-powerful God need help building His own house? Why didn’t God miraculously provide all the construction materials?
I found the answer to these questions in a book called “The Paradox of Generosity” (Smith and Davidson). The book is based on a surveyed of 2,000 people from different families, races, and states over a five-year period. The results were astonishing! Allow me to share three with you.
1. People who describe themselves as “very happy” volunteer an average of 5.8 hours per month.
2. People who donate more than 10% of their incomes tend to have lower depression rates.
3. People who are emotionally available and hospitable in relationships are much more likely to be in excellent health.
God didn’t ask the people to provide the construction materials for the Tabernacle for His own sake. He didn’t need their help. He did it for their sake. He wanted the people of Israel to be happier, less depressed, and healthier as they made their way to the Promised Land. So, He challenged them to be generous.
Today, God wants you to be happier, less depressed, and healthier as you make your way to Heaven. Thus, He is calling you to be generous. He didn’t create you to live for yourself. He has blessed you, so you can bless others.
Allow me to share a few ideas on how to be generous even if you don’t have money to give.