I've also received adoption into a new family and a share of that families inheritance due to the generosity of the firstborn (Jesus). As I result I have new purpose and belonging and I have a new role model to follow. Jesus gave up unbelievable riches in order that others might have treasure in heaven. The passage about treasures in heaven applies to Jesus first and foremost. How rich will he be in heaven?
Generosity then seems to me to describe much of the heart of our Triune God. The Father generously and without reservation gives the Son, who in turn generously gives the Spirit who generously and richly leads us into all truth. Generosity of spirit never remains only in the spirit but reaches the wallet too. The story of the Prodigal Son should really be the story of the Generous Father who gives the inheritance and then gives more on the return of his wayward offspring without seemingly any strings or conditions attached.
If I live in a sharing community (however that looks) there are a number of direct potential benefits to me. Firstly, my costs of living go down as we share. We no longer need 'one each' but one between us. This releases money not to be driven back into satisfying my own desires (assuming that my needs have been met) but into an oppportunity to increase my generosity - so that others aren't hard pressed while I enjoy the fat of the land.
Secondly, living amongst those that share could lead to the release of time or of energy - we do things together, working together reducing the workload. This release isn't so that I can spend more time on the playstation or in front of the telly but to make the most of the gifts God has given me. I'm pretty certain that at the end of my life I'm not going to look back and think 'I should have watched more TV'. The reason we do is often exhaustion from pressured work and the demands of life - share those burdens and exhaustion in theory goes down not up. If I'm providing more cash to the community but others are helping me in other ways then I'm not trying to do it all on my own and running the risk of burn out.
It all sounds easier said than done, and of course there are challenges to this way of life because it is different and in some ways requires a little more effort to make it work but the gains and returns are I think greater. Am I being too idealistic? Probably. But I'm keen to add pragmatic wisdom into the mix as without it it won't work. More tellingly, will this ever go beyond talking? Which makes me wonder why this vision of life is not as attractive to others as it is to me...thoughts people?
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