A Broken Body
Have you ever taken the time to think about the small intricacies of the human body? Our bodies are such magnificent creations that medical science is constantly discovering new ways that the body functions. One of our body’s most wonderful attributes is that it can heal itself – to an extent. It was designed that way by God.
In 1 Corinthians 12:26, Paul makes a very striking reference to the fact that if one part of the body suffers, so do the other parts. The opposite is also true. If one-part flourishes, the other parts benefit. I have often, especially in recent times, asked myself, “why don’t I feel or experience the suffering of my brothers and sisters in the body of Christ?”
Think for a moment about a physically injured body. Let’s say you injure your knee. Immediately the rest of the body works together, keeping the knee in play. Whether by sending antibodies, blood cells, hormones or even through muscles compensating by carrying the load of the injured part. Why does the body do this? Because it is better for the other parts of the body if all the parts are functioning optimally.
Play Your Part
You may ask, “what in the world does this have to do with generosity?” I think it is so simple and clear, and such a key for us to use, especially at this moment in history. We, as Christians, are all a part of the body (go and give Romans 12 a read again) and it is beneficial to us if the body is healthy all over. At this time, however, there are so many parts of our body in pain and suffering, who need the generous support and help of the others to help them pull through and be restored.
Generosity is not just manifested in material or financial acts of benevolence. No, we have brothers and sisters at this time who need comfort, care, love, wisdom and health (physical, spiritual and emotional). The list goes on. The question, we as parts of the body have to ask ourselves is, “what role has God given me to play in the body (again, refer to Romans 12), and how generous am I in applying my gifts, calling and anointing to the benefit of the whole body?”
God will not judge our generosity within the body on how much money we gave to the church, even though that is a legitimate avenue of generosity. I don’t even believe that our generosity will primarily be judged on our “outputs”, but rather on whether or not we have a generous spirit and heart towards those who are in need.
For the body to experience restoration, all the parts will have to be generous with the strengths and favour that God has given them, so that the whole body may benefit and be healthy and whole. This is how we will establish the Kingdom. We must shift our focus from self-preservation to Spirit-led, faith-filled, generous living (2 Cor 8:12-14).
Remember Paul’s letter to the Corinthians in 2 Corinthians 8 and 9? He explicitly explains how the generous spirit of the Macedonian church led to the benefit of others, to such an extent that God was glorified for it. And where God is glorified, His kingdom is established (Psalm 22:3). On top of that, their generosity opened up God’s grace upon them that they were able to give beyond what they could afford in the natural. God over-delivered on their own needs so that they could provide for the needs of others and glorify God for it. It only took a step of faith and a generous spirit, which then opened the doorway to health and restoration across the body.
A Perspective Shift
I want to encourage you to be generous by faith with what has been entrusted to you. Then, take it a step further by giving from God’s never-ending resources. Put your hand in your bag of seed and start sowing. God will supply and multiply the seed as you sow it generously, effectively and by doing miracles through your sowing (2 Cor 9:10-12).
On that day that Jesus fed the crowd of over 5000 (Matthew 14:13-21) the disciples did what we often do when faced with a challenge. They went to Jesus and said “we don’t have enough…” Then Jesus flipped the script on them and said, “What DO you have?” It ended up being 5 loaves and 2 fish (not enough to feed that many people). And we all know how that day ended with 12 baskets of leftovers. WHAT!? All it took was the disciple’s agreement, by faith, that Jesus would make something out of the little they had scraped together. Let Him do the same with your little. Focus on what you DO have, not on what you don’t have.
By faith, give of your time, love, care, wisdom, hospitality, spiritual gifts, money, resources, and whatever else the Spirit JOYFULLY guides you in (2 Corinthians 8:1-4). And trust that God will supply you with more than enough to give as you help bring restoration to the parts of the body who desperately need it at this time. You may feel empty yourself, but God only needs you to give from what you do have, and He will take care of the rest. Tap into the restorative power of God by being generous with your life.