We’re called to live like Jesus.

The questions are not: Are you a satisfactory steward? Or can you be guilt-tripped into giving more? The questions are: Are you generous like Jesus? Are you yearning to live a Christ-like life of abundant self-giving?

Many view tithing as a dusty old rule, a two-thousand-year-long guilt trip to nowhere. Many view generosity as a luxury of the rich, like sailing and wearing plaid shorts at the country club. Stewardship is seen primarily as a matter of financial management.

But what if generosity is something much more than that? What if generosity is at the heart of God?

Well it is! We were created in the image of a self-giving God. God didn’t need us, but our very creation—the creation of all things—was an act of overflowing generosity. We don’t deserve anything. The fact that we have a single moment of life, the fact that we have breath, and food, and families, is because God is generous. And God is so extravagantly generous that he not only gives us being and sustains us in being, not only gives us lives and homes and families and jobs, but even gave us himself in Jesus Christ, and gave us salvation on the cross and new life and full life in Him.

God’s generosity is unlimited because his love is unending and his storehouse of blessings is abundant—and so our generosity should be unlimited because his love is unending and his storehouse of blessings is abundant.

In other words, generosity is not something we can choose, or choose not, to do. It is who we are, who we are created to be. God gave us to ourselves so that we could give ourselves to one another. God gave himself to us in Christ, so that we could give Christ in us to others. Generosity, in other words, is at the heart of our creation, our salvation, and our purpose.

When we lay our life, our treasure, and our labor at the alter we understand the heart of God and what it means to live generously.