How often do we really help others out of real generosity. Generosity is characterised by a noble or forbearing spirit, willing open handedness marked by abundance. Now immediately some switch off, saying, oh this is all about money – No. It’s all about an attitude. Generosity is to help without sub-motives, to be generous with your time, a listening ear and so much more. Our society is dying for us to open our attitude and just be there…
A few character studies stand out in 2 Samuel 19 – the history of king David returning to his throne after his son (Absalom) organised a revolt and took over his dad’s kingdom, but then died in a war against king David’s forces. King David sheltered in a Mahanaim, a city east of the Jordan River. In Mahanaim David experienced the hospitality of Barzillai and stayed for several weeks in Barzillai’s house. Barzillai was a very old man and wealthy. As David wanted to leave to go back to Jerusalem, he wanted to reward Barzillai by making him an honoured guest in his palace. Barzillai said he had helped David with no hope of reward. He had done so because he loved his king. He wanted nothing in return for what he did and would rather go back to his home. This is true generosity with an attitude to help without the expectation to receive anything back.
This principle goes beyond financial giving. But when a coworker asks for some of your time to talk about a problem, what is your response? Do you give your attention generously or grudgingly? When your boss gives you a special assignment, do you give the project just enough attention to get it over with, or do you jump in wholeheartedly with energy and creativity? What about your time and emotional energy after hours? When your spouse or children need you, do you make yourself available generously or grudgingly? Do you give a fair contribution of yourself to assignments that you’ve volunteered for, or just a token effort?
We are constant recipients of God’s generous grace. He promises that if we will give of ourselves, He will enable us to have an abundance of resources for the work to which He has called us (2 Corinthians. 9:8)
Generosity should be answered with gratitude. This was David’s response to Barzillai’s generosity. David sends Barzillai back into his country with a kiss and a blessing (2 Samuel 19:39), signifying that in gratitude for his kindnesses he would love him and pray for him, and with a promise that whatever request Barzillai should at any time make to David, he would be ready to oblige him. To show his gratitude David gave Barzillai’s son, Kimham, land from David’s paternal estate near Bethlehem, where he stayed for many years.
We must always be grateful to those who have helped us (in difficult times).