There is sheer genius in giving things away. To the natural mind, this makes no sense. How can you be enriched by giving away your time, money, and talents and expecting nothing in return? Jesus Christ gave everything away including His life and look what He received. The universe and the Name above All Names. Its not just a book about tithing. It is a book about giving of your own time, treasure, talents, and even your own reputation. The price is only $6.99 and it is more than worth it.
In Chip Ingram’s book, The Genius of Generosity, he writes some amazing stories of people giving away things like their time and their money and receiving treasures that are stored up and awaiting their vouchers in heaven.
Most people do not wake up thinking “What am I going to do with my time and money today for you God…how am I going to spend your money for the kingdom.” He tells the Christian that everything we have and everything we own, even our time is a gift from God. It is all given to us, not to hoard but to give away in service to others (36). God has “entrusted to us everything we have for a reason…so we can partner with Him to accomplish His purposes…to demonstrate where our true priorities lie (36).”
One story tells a familiar analytical and diagnostic story. A man was in the desert dying of thirst. He is ready to give up when he finds a small oasis. At the small oasis he finds a well with a small jar of water. The sign says to pour the water in the well to prime the pump and then drink as much as you want but remember to refill the jar with water for the next traveler. The man th inks that “I could drink this water and take care of my thirst right now….but it would not be enough and I couldn’t survive the trip on just a small jar of water.” So he pours down the only water he sees, trusting the pump will supply all he can drink. The analogy is the same with God. Will we trust Him to provide more to help the next weary traveler or drink up to quench his immediate thirst?
God wants us to trust Him and step out on faith and increase our giving and He will increase our income in response to our giving (56). Generous giving actually increases and produces happiness, contrary to the way the world thinks and operates (61). Chip tells the story of Osman Ali, one of the richest potentates in the world. He was considered the richest man in the world in the 1940s. When he died, his rooms were full of stacks of currency eaten by rats. There were gems of all kinds. Emeralds, rubies, and sapphires. But they all went to waste. The man lived not wanting to spend any of it (62).
God measures generosity by the level of sacrifice, not by the dollar amount. The widow gave “more than all the others“ because it was all she had and it put her to risk. God is measuring generosity not by the size of the gift but by the size of the sacrifice and risk (72). Chip says that “You‘ve given sacrificially when your giving impacts your lifestyle (72).” Our generosity is the visible expression of our love for God (77). It is not just money either…but our time, talents, and reputations that God is seeking for us to release. It is not a quid pro quo but of trusting Him to provide you more to give away. It is like we are laying ourselves down on the altar and say, “Here I am Lord (78)” We are most generous with God when we tell Him “all I am” and “all I have” is yours to use as you see fit (78).
Here are his summaries of what it means to have the genius of generosity:
To be smart, spend carefully. To be wise save, regularly. To be genius, give extravagantly.
Where your money goes, your heart flows.
Generosity is a gateway into intimacy with God
Stewardship is the path. Generosity is the adventure.
Generous givers make God and His purposes their highest priorities.
Enjoy God’s generosity to you…then share it with others.
Faith increases giving, and giving increases faith.
Those blessed by God become blessers for God.
Generous living is joyful living.
God measures generosity not by the size of the gift but by the size of the sacrifice.
Generosity isn’t an act. It’s a way of life.
True generosity doesn’t stop with possessions. It starts with them.
As a pastor and a partner in Chip Ingram’s ministry as a monthly partner, I received this book free and I highly recommend it to anyone that wants to be blessed and more abundantly. Luke 6:38 confirms this lifestyle from Jesus’ own words, “Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” Malachi 3:10 is a God-given promise, “Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the LORD Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.“