Generosity and Kingdom-Mindedness By Dr. Zenet Maramara
Generosity Beyond Measure
Generosity is an expression of our love and obedience to God. It begins with understanding who God is, his nature, and his character. He is a giving and generous God, and we are all made in the image of that God. We, therefore, carry the spirit of God’s generosity in our DNA. God is also the ultimate owner of all things (Psalm 24:1), and we are called to be faithful stewards of the resources and responsibilities he entrusted us. This includes financial resources, time, talents, work, and even the organization or ministry we serve.
Kingdom-mindedness refers to being constantly aware that we are stewards, not owners. Such awareness reflects on our attitudes and behaviors in living out that one kingdom of God. We set aside selfish ambition and pursuit of personal agenda for the greater kingdom work of God. We do not build a second kingdom fueled by selfish ambition, pride, and fame.
Imagine the Body of Christ living out a one-kingdom mindset. There will be more unity and less competition and conflicts. We will see more collaboration among organizations and communities that can result in greater collective impact. Collaboration is an expression of generosity and kingdom living. It involves sharing resources, whether they are financial, physical, or intellectual.
Collaboration in the Kingdom
Getting ready for the October global generosity forum in Manila makes me see how important it is to work together in God’s kingdom. As the local host, the Christian Stewardship Association is in charge of setting up the event, helped by the Philippine Council for Evangelical Churches, and our partners from around the world support us in various ways. It’s impressive when we all cooperate and show unity. What a wonderful witness to the world when brothers and sisters dwell together and work in unity.
In the kingdom of God, we are not competitors but collaborators. Those of us on the mission of multiplying generous stewards and promoting biblical generosity bring our unique gifts, competencies, and contribution to the generosity ecosystem. When we combine our resources, we multiply our energy and create a greater impact in cultivating a culture of biblical generosity.
Abundance versus Scarcity
What keeps us from collaborating and sharing generously? It’s the fear that there will not be enough for all of us. A scarcity mindset hinders us from freeing up our resources for others, even if we know it is good for the kingdom. We believe in the abundance of God’s unlimited resources, yet we unconsciously operate in scarcity.
In 2007, my seminary was in the middle of a $1 million capital campaign to buy the property next to our campus. I also needed to raise $75,000 to build a classroom for our MBA class. I asked permission from our seminary president to do fundraising, and he gave me the green light, but he said, “Just observe donor boundaries.”
He meant that I should not approach our capital campaign or prospective donors. I smiled and told him I do not believe we can limit what God can do in the hearts of those givers. I heeded his advice just the same; however, one week later, my president returned to me and said, You have the $75,000 to build the MBA classroom. He said, “ I was wrong about donor boundaries.” The gift for my MBA project came from the same donors who gave to our capital campaign.
It shows that the starting point for steward leaders to live out and model God’s abundance and grace is to focus on him. We hinder instead of help unleash God’s abundant generosity if we are too focused on our goals and objectives.
Steward leaders align themselves with God’s values and purposes, sharing their resources and talents to bring about God’s redemptive work in the Lord. They encourage leaders to focus on the common goal of advancing the greater mission of God rather than guarding their turf. This kingdom-minded approach involves seeing the larger picture and working toward the greater good.
Generosity and kingdom-mindedness are both expressions of our love and obedience to God. It is a tangible way to obey God’s commandments and show love and care for others. Living as generous stewards reflects our understanding of God’s character, our love for him, and our responsibility to care for others. It is a powerful way to embody our faith, impact the world positively, and find fulfillment and joy centered on serving God and others.
Dr. Zenet Maramara is the founder/president of the Christian Stewardship Association and the chairman of Christians in Conservation, an A Rocha-associated project. She was a professor of biblical stewardship at the Asian Theological Seminary and former director of the ATS Strategic Leader Development. She organized and directed the MBA in Biblical Stewardship and Christian Management program of ATS.
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