Everybody thinks he is. Few people really are. Being generous is not natural, it's not common, and it's not intuitive. In fact, it's a little crazy.
In this 3-part series, Andy invites you to come by crazy like us.
Part 1 - You Just Think You Are (Andy Stanley)
Everyone gives something somewhere. But that masks the fact that most of us aren’t generous. That sounds counterintuitive, but there’s a difference between random acts of giving and true generosity. The good news is, it’s possible to learn how to be generous.
“Generosity is the premeditated, calculated, designated, emancipation of personal financial assets.”
Imagine you had a checking account with all of the money you’ve wasted, gambled away, or invested in a crazy, get-rich-quick stock. Imagine you had a checking account with all of the money you’ve wasted on bad habits, a second mortgage, or credit card interest. What if you had all of that money back? What if you had to give it away over the course of a year? Wouldn’t that be fun? Wouldn’t that give you joy?
“In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’” Acts 20:35
Part 2 - The Standard American Version (Andy Stanley)
You know how to give. Everyone gives something somewhere. We define our generosity by our random acts of goodness. But generosity is more than that. Generosity is the premeditated, calculated, designated emancipation of personal financial assets. When you become generous, you give more, save more, and consume less. It can free you from the Great American Insanity Cycle of spending more than we make, accumulating debt, having no financial margin, worrying about money, and spending money we don’t have in order to distract ourselves from worry.
“More money does not generate more self-control, discipline, or contentment.”
If you think and behave like a giver, you’ll give more, consume less, and have more left over. Generous people do not assume everything they have is theirs to consume. They recognize that it all belongs to a loving heavenly Father who can be trusted to care for them. You can break the insanity by behaving like and thinking like a giver, not a consumer.
“But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’ This is how it will be with whoever stores up things for themselves but is not rich toward God.” Luke 12:20–21
Part 3 - First Things First (Andy Stanley)
Everyone gives something somewhere to someone. But that only masks the fact that we don’t know how to be generous. Generosity isn’t about how to give. It is more than random acts of giving. Persuasive people can inspire or guilt us into giving. But generous people don’t need to be sold or guilted. They plan to give. If you choose to become generous—to plan to give—you’ll give more, consume less, and have more left over.
“You give from a grateful heart or you give from a broken heart.”
Being radically generous may seem crazy, but Jesus said the alternative is crazier. It reduces you to an owner and a consumer. It leaves you discontented. And no matter what you choose, you will eventually lose possession of your stuff anyway. So choose your crazy. But remember: happy is the person whose life is ordered around giving rather than receiving.
For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Matthew 6:21
1 Corinthians 16:1–3