I recently came across a new author and speaker, Margaret Feinberg. I am currently reading one of her books, The Organic God. When I first discovered her, an audio file on her website caught my attention, entitled “Outrageously Generous.”
Fienberg states that in Malachi 2.11, God says he loves the temple. In John 3.16, the Scriptures say God loves people. However, there is only one place in the Scriptures that say precisely what God loves: 2 Corinthians 9.11 …
“God loves a cheerful giver.”
Feinberg says, “I want to love what God loves and I want to be what God loves.”
Why does God love a cheerful giver?
When we give cheerfully, we reflect our outrageously generous God. We join him in the act of generosity. Not just as someone who collects, but by becoming someone who distributes to others.
When I was young I helped at home with chores and sometimes helping out Mom at her office. I had no job outside the home, so I was dependent on my parents for spending money. When the weekend approached and I wanted money to do something fun, I had to go to Dad and say, “I need ‘x’ amount of dollars.” And Dad would always respond, “How much do you need?” Feinberg would reply with the exact amount needed. If it was for a movie, “I need $7.50.” Feinberg never considered needing some extra for a snack during the movie or to do something following the movie. If she had extra left over from the week before, she may say she only needed $5. Her dad always responded by giving her more. If she asked for $5 she got $10. If she asked for $10 she got $20. Whether he could afford it or not, he always gave more.
In this, Feinberg received a generous demonstration of God’s love and his generosity. We serve a God who doesn’t just give what we ask, he gives us so much more.
Feinberg confesses that despite such generosity, there are times that she is tempted to hold back. Rather than living openhandedly, she says, “I tend to hold on.” And to this end Feinberg refers to the story of the deliverance of the Israelites from Egypt in Exodus 16.
When we can’t put it into words, we can’t even express those things we desire, we cry out to God, and he gives them to us in abundance. Indeed, our God is outrageously generous!