Tuesday, 8 January 2019

Conditional or Unconditional Generosity?

Has it ever occurred to you why some of us are offering our time, talents and wealth to the church? I have observed that in some cases, it is because of the kind of relationship persons are experiencing that some would be more or less generous. For example, a priest or a leader is friendly and caring to the people, and because some experience such friendliness and care, they are willing and happy to offer more. But when a priest or leader is less friendly or caring, then what happens, would people be still as generous?

Relationship is what many of us long for, but I wonder if that should be one factor of how generous one should be. When we speak of offering and being generous to the church, what are we really meaning here? Are we generous with the condition that we would be loved and well-treated in return? Do we expect to get something out of what we give, or could we give unconditionally? Does it mean that being a Christian means there are terms and conditions attached for our benefit?

This is where, perhaps, we need to ask ourselves: God gave us His son Jesus, freely, unconditionally, to save all of us from our sins. Jesus came not to save only a certain few, or only those who are good or kind, or according to certain terms and conditions, as salvation is offered to all. It is up to us to accept or reject this free offer of salvation, and if we reject it, we cannot turn around and say that we did not have a choice. If God’s generosity knows no bounds, then why are some of us generous with bounds, whereby for some of us, generosity is based on what we can get out of it in return?

We must remember that priests and leaders come and go, and that at the end of the day, our generosity ought to be to build God’s Kingdom and to glorify Him, not for our personal gratification or to maintain a feel-good environment. Our generosity is not going to end up only in a certain priest or leader’s pocket, or only for the benefit of a certain priest or leader; but our generosity would be used ultimately for the good of the church. If we are mindful of this, then surely we should ponder how generous we really are, and do what is right and just for the good of the church and to assist in its mission.

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