The following is a concluding excerpt from our Generosity Guide. You can download the whole guide for free here.
Consumerism is dehumanising.
It’s destructive to everyone around us as well as ourselves. I hope that this brief guide has helped you understand how far our consumerism goes and how deeply we are affected by it. I also hope that this guide has helped you see that even though we have hearts that are far from God and how He wants us to live, He never gives up on us, never ceases being generous in all His ways.
As we grow in that humility and thankfulness, we are called to reflect these realities in our lives. The church should be leading the charge in generosity: in our money, stuff, relationships, and justice. And even though we proceed with stumbles and false starts, we have the Holy Spirit in us all the while, reminding us of God’s generous love, spurring us on to live lives of generous love towards others.
Imagine with me for a moment, what our communities and neighbourhoods would look like if the church took seriously its charge to be radically generous in all of life. How would that change families, schools, businesses, governments? If the church has lost legitimacy over the years in the West, with its stern march towards secularism, surely generosity is one way to prove its legitimacy as an institution? Imagine being a group of people, radically changed by God’s generosity, on God’s mission to reflect that generosity towards the world. That would create churches that people would lament if we ceased to exist. We would be an institution that, even if people don’t believe in Jesus or the Bible, those same people would still want us to be present in their neighbourhoods and cities.
In short, we would be good news to those who we are in contact with. And isn’t that exactly what Jesus offers, quoting Isaiah 61 in Luke 4:
“The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour.”
This is not a conclusion, it’s how we carry on. We are a people God has redeemed in order to experience His generosity for ourselves, be transformed by it, and reflect it to the world. On earth as it is in heaven.