The wicked borrow and never repay, but the godly are generous givers. Psalm 37:21 NLT
With selfishness slithering from his fingers, he approached his father and demanded his inheritance.
He was the younger of his father’s two sons. Disregarding the cultural norm, he approached his father and demanded his one third of his father’s possessions. Since most wealth was measured in land and livestock, his father had to sell part of his ownings to answer his son’s demands.
Knowing what the son was probably up to but wanting to show him love, the father bowed to his son’s request. Sure enough, the son took off to a far country. His friends were many as long as he showed them a good time, but when his money ran out they did too. Taking a job at the bottom of the social totem pole was the best he could do, but after a short time he’d had enough.
Living under his father’s roof seemed enticing. He worked up a repentance speech and headed for home. Thinking the best he could hope for was to work as his father’s servant, he imagined how he would beg his father to let him do that. But when his father saw him coming, he ran to him, hugged him, welcomed him home, and acted as if he’d never left. His selfishness was rewarded with a restored position.
According to the psalmist, the father was a perfect picture of a prodigal (generous) giver. The son was wicked. He took and never repaid, but the father gave.
Giving can take many forms. It may be money, possessions, time, mentoring, teaching, or hands-on work. Giving can also be preceded by different motives. Some do it out of guilt, some out of compassion, some out of appreciation, and some because they desire recognition. The father did it out of agape (unconditional) love.
As a believer, I should give because I’ve been given to. The father in the story represents God. God gave His Son to pay for my sins, but He continually gives to me each day. He gives forgiveness, guidance, comfort, strength, love, and wisdom. God has no ulterior motives when He gives. Nor should I. My giving, in whatever form it takes, should come from sheer appreciation of what He’s given to me. When I give in faith, God promises to meet any needs I have.
Give generously—until it hurts. You’ll never be able to outgive God.
Tweetable: It's impossible to outgive God.
Prayer: Father, we praise You for Your wonderful gift of salvation. May we give as You have given to us.