by Rick Warren — August 13, 2023
From Better Together
“The congregation of those who believed were of one heart and soul . . . all things were common property to them.”
Acts 4:32 (NASB)
When we’re generous with each other, we draw closer to each other, and that creates community.
Someone from my church sent me a letter that read: “My neighbor asked if he could borrow my ladder, and I said, ‘Of course.’ I later learned that he already had one of his own. He didn’t need to borrow my ladder; he just used it as a way to build our relationship. When he borrowed my stuff, it made me feel that I was needed, and I liked that feeling. I’ve now learned to do the same thing with my other neighbors.”
The letter continued, “Another neighbor has a shop vac, and I borrow it every Friday night to clean my car with my son. In fact, now Roger leaves it out for me. I told Roger recently that I could afford to buy my own shop vac, but I just like the interaction of borrowing his. Roger asked me to please not buy one for myself. He had learned to see the connection between generosity and community.”
The Bible says in Matthew 6:21, “Your heart will be where your treasure is” (NCV). In other words, whatever you put your time, money, and energy into is what’s going to attract you. So anytime you’re generous with your church or a neighbor or with the poor, that’s where your heart will go. Every time you give to God, it draws your heart closer to God.
The first Christians were famous for their generosity. Acts 4:32 tells us that “the congregation of those who believed were of one heart and soul . . . all things were common property to them” (NASB). They were a family; their sharing was voluntary. Christian generosity says, “What’s mine is yours, and I can share it with you.”
As a parent, do you enjoy watching your kids share with each other? Of course you do. One of the primary lessons of life is learning how to share. When you see your kids being unselfish, it makes you happy.
God is the same way! When God looks down on us and sees us being generous with each other, he goes, “That’s my boy! That’s my girl! They’re doing what I want them to do,” because God is generous, and he wants us to become like him. Generosity creates community.