Clutching at Pearls – A Word from Dr. Mike

Generosity is Biblical. GOD modeled generosity when He gave His only Son to die on the cross. Read this verse – II Corinthians 9:15: “Thanks be to GOD for His indescribable gift.” 

What is an antonym (a word opposite in meaning to another) for generosity? 

Greed. Now let me share with you a story from history that illustrates greed. 

In 79 AD, Mount Vesuvius erupted, and buried the city of Pompeii, Italy. 

When Pompeii was being excavated, there was found a body that had been embalmed by the ashes of Vesuvius. It was that of a woman. Her feet were turned toward the city gate, but her face was turned backward toward something that lay just beyond her outstretched hands. 

The prize for which those frozen fingers were reaching was a bag of pearls. Maybe she herself had dropped them as she was fleeing for her life. Maybe she had found them where they had been dropped by another. But be that as it may, though death was hard at her heels, and life was beckoning to her beyond the city gates, she could not shake off their spell. She had turned to pick them up, with death as her reward. But it was not the eruption of Vesuvius that made her love pearls more than life. It only froze her in this attitude of greed. 

GOD’s Word warns of the dangers of having a greedy spirit, and it also reminds us of the importance of displaying the grace of generosity. Matthew 6:19-21 truly challenges us to be generous in our giving: “Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.” 

GOD commands us to give and be generous – but more importantly, He shows us how. GOD has graciously given us everything we have. 

I really enjoyed reading the quote from C. S. Lewis: “I do not believe one can settle how much one ought to give. I am afraid the only safe rule is to give more than we can spare.” Proverbs 11:24 “says it all: “One gives freely yet grows all the richer; another withholds what he should give, and only suffers want.” 

Pastor Mike

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