When we’re generous with each other, we draw closer to each other, and that creates community.
Someone from my church sent me a letter once that read: “My neighbor asked if he could borrow my ladder, and I said of course. I later learned that he already had one of his own. He didn’t need to borrow my ladder; he just used it as a way to build our relationship. When he borrowed my stuff, it made me feel that I was needed, and I liked that feeling. I’ve now learned to do the same thing with my other neighbors. Another neighbor has a shop vac, and I borrow it every Friday night to clean my car with my son. In fact, now Roger leaves it out for me. I told Roger recently that I could afford to buy my own shop vac, but I just like the interaction of borrowing his. Roger asked me to please not buy one for myself. He had learned to see the connection between generosity and community.”
The Bible says in Matthew 6:21, “Your heart will be where your treasure is” (NCV). In other words, whatever you put your time, money, and energy into is what’s going to attract you. So any time I’m generous with you or with the poor or with anybody, that’s where my heart tends to go. Every time I give to God, it draws my heart closer to God. And every time I give to you, it draws my heart closer to you.
The first Christians were famous for their generosity. Acts 4:32 tells us that “the congregation of those who believed were of one heart and soul … all things were common property to them” (NASB). They were a family. Their sharing was voluntary. It wasn’t communism. Communism says, “What’s yours is mine, and I’m going to take it.” Christianity says, “What’s mine is yours, and you can share it with me.”
As a parent, do you enjoy watching your kids share with each other? Of course you do. One of the primary lessons of life is learning how to share. When you see your kids being unselfish, you’re very happy about that.
God is the same way! When God looks down on us and sees us being generous with each other, he goes, “That’s my boy! That’s my girl! They’re doing what I want them to do,” because God is generous, and he wants us to become like him. Generosity creates community.