I touched on this at the end of my last blog, but I wanted to expand on the idea more, that is, when God’s people are generous, he is glorified through us. Paul wrote,
You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.
This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of God’s people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God.
Because of the service by which you have proved yourselves, men will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else.
And in their prayers for you their hearts will go out to you, because of the surpassing grace God has given you. (11-14)
One of the key themes that we see throughout these verses is that our generosity causes people to give thanks to God. They give thanks to God not just because their needs are met, but because they can see God working through us. They see the surpassing grace God has poured into our lives, and they see it pouring out of our lives to touch them and others.
Too often, as the world looks at people professing to be followers of Christ, they see hypocrites and people who are uncaring, unloving, or indifferent. But when they see Christians who are generous because they have been touched with the grace of Christ, they catch a glimpse of our heavenly Father, who “causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.” (Matthew 5:45)
And as they see us, they start to glorify Him and hopefully start to become drawn to him.
Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven. (Matthew 5;16)
And one of the best ways to shine our light is through our generosity.
But as we are generous, it also encourages others who are believers. It encourages them because through us, they see that God has not abandoned them and that he cares for their needs. It encourages them in that they see fellow Christians living out what they believe. And it encourages them to live out what they believe as well.
And like Paul, they start to thank God once again for his indescribable gift: the gift of his Son (15). The gift that so changes people that they would share the love they have received from God with others.
How about you? Is God being glorified through you because of your generosity. Through your giving heart, do people see God in you and praise Him?