An old and much used term from years back is popping up again in today’s headlines, and that is the word “inflation.” This general rise in costs of goods and services within an economy makes its way to every item we buy, causing a drop in our buying power. Its effects are felt all the way down to the most basic items we need and buy every week, like a loaf of bread or a gallon of gas.
It also affects our language, making phrases once used and easily understood to seem archaic and irrelevant. One such phrase from America’s Great Depression was, “Brother, can you lend me a dime?”
Utter that one today, and no one would get its meaning, for what good could come from lending someone a paltry sum equaling 10 pennies?
But there is one commodity that is within the reach of us all, an exchange of the greatest value and highest worth, one that is truly inflation-proof…and that is being generous of heart.
This deep treasure in our lives can’t be measured only in dollars and cents, but the mere presence of this virtue has the buying power to change a life, or the course of an entire family.
This kind of generosity is talked about often in the Bible, from the Good Samaritan, to the widow’s mite, to those in the book of Acts who were willing to sell property in order to give to the needs of others.
Consider these passages from the Bible (all English Standard Version):
Hebrews 13:16 – Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.
Psalm 112:5 – Good will come to those who are generous and lend freely, who conduct their affairs with justice.
Proverbs 11:24 – One person gives freely, yet gains even more; another withholds unduly, but comes to poverty.
While this kind of a generous heart is clearly evident and appreciated in the lives of those on the receiving end, it is indeed noticed and commended by God.
This kind of expressed goodness shown or given to another has its origin in the very nature of the Almighty, who “gave” His only begotten Son for us. That most well-known verse, John 3:16, also shows the motive behind the great generosity of God…it was love.
Love allows us to realize the true value found in living. Its expressions are evident every time we speak a gentle word to someone angry, take a meal to someone that is sick, serve an injured friend by mowing their lawn, or contribute to a new well in a deprived village across the ocean.
Sometimes it involves actually giving of money, but many times it involves giving from the riches that are found only in one’s heart.