I’ve been thinking about RG ever since I preached on it at a recent Faith Promise Convention. As we came to commitment time when others were asked to come forward and lay their commitment cards on the altar, The Lord said, “You be first.” I knew what He meant. The pastor had handed me an envelope with my expense reimbursement and honorarium. Without knowing how much was in the unopened envelope, I placed the envelope with my name on it on the altar. You see, radical generosity is about obeying those gentle whispers from the Spirit to impromptu giving.
When we realize that everything that we have is a gift from God, it becomes possible for us to give in a radical way. As we realize Gods grace, we also understand that our earthly possessions are expendable. We are also fed physically and spiritually when we engage in this kind of Christ-like generosity. I read about one church that gave away $10,000 to its congregation to go out and live out the radical generosity seen in the early church in Acts. They advised their people to pray, listen for God’s direction, be radical, and then tell their stories. It reminded me of our first trip to Gros-Morne, Haiti. A lady had given Roy Shuck some “generosity” money. Wally was delivered and set free from a voodoo curse that first Sunday night. Most of Wally’s tuition was paid in advance with this. Incidentally, we saw Wally in October. He had passed his national exam and showed us the certificate to prove it. He will be on his way to college in January due to the life-transforming grace of God and the radical generosity of a woman who was motivated by Christ to be a radical giver.
The question is, can ordinary people do the extraordinary? Radical means something extraordinary that an ordinary person could do. Generosity doesnt have to be something so sacrificial that its taxing or becomes a hardship. Its the nature of going beyond, in a moment, to make a difference because you can. Not because its required or expected or necessarily needed, but the act itself makes someones moment, day or life better, which impacts the richness of your moment.
I’m learning. RG has not been an easy lesson for me to learn. Someone blogged that giving proves that our faith is real. In a culture oriented to collecting stuff, the sort of giving that makes your accountant shake her head in disbelief is a work of faith. Talk is cheap. But generosity is a sign of God’s grace–to people inside and outside the church. Like the server who interrupted Kaye and I as we were bowing to give thanks before the meal she had served. I asked how we might pray for her. Her head dropped and she said her finances were horrible. The Lord said, “Give her that Franklin you’ve been saving.”
RG is about obeying the gentle promptings of the Spirit to help when you can. Like filling someone’s tank with gas when they ask for a gallon to get them down the road. Or giving the lady in the electric cart at Publix some cash so she could buy the item she thought was too expensive.
Whenever you are prompted to RG, you enter God’s economy. His paybacks are awesomely incredible and will fill you with praise and thanksgiving. And, like me you could actually become the recipient of RG, maybe thirty, sixty or even hundred-fold. “Don’t let what you cannot do keep you from doing what you can.”
David F. Nixon, D.Min
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