Recently, GenerousChurch spent some time with Chip Ingram discussing the way that generosity is connected to relationships. Here are three and a half questions from that interview:
Q1: Chip, you recently released a new book called The Genius of Generosity. From the beginning of the book, you tell the story of your relationship with John Saville and indicate that generosity is what created this unique relationship. How does generosity help us connect with others?
A: Generosity is a guaranteed, high-yield relationship investment. There’s something very attractive about those who have a sense of kindness, who do nice things for others, who pick up a bill or go out of their way to do a favor. Generous people create positive feelings in their relationships. They cause others to want to be around them. And when we go out of our way to help or encourage someone, we feel encouraged and positive. Something happens inside. It’s good for us and for others.
Q2: Does this same principal apply to our relationship with God?
A: Unselfishness is a gateway to intimacy with God. Our stewardship of His resources isn’t just an assignment. It’s relational. As we seek His will and make decisions about His gifts, we grow closer to Him. We begin to see through His eyes and develop His heartbeat. He entrusts us with more and more, and together we celebrate the fruitfulness that comes out of this relationship. So, generosity is actually a gateway to intimacy with Him.
Q3: You mention that as we are good stewards, God entrusts us with more and more. In The Genius of Generosity, you indicate that this “more and more” is not always material. What can believers and churches expect from God as they become faithful stewards?
A: Faithful stewardship opens the door to more and more of God. I can’t tell you the scores of conversations I’ve had with sincere Christians over the past 25 years as a pastor who can’t understand why they’re experiencing so little of God’s power and see so little happen in their church or small group or ministry project. When I ask a few questions, I usually discover most Christ-followers have never connected the dots between the use of money and God’s activity and blessings in their lives and significant relationships.
So, I tell them that there’s a better way, a smarter way to live…an idea so simple, it’s genius. It’s the generous life.
Q3.5: Last question, and maybe the most difficult yet. Who was your favorite 70’s band?
A: It’s a 3 way tie: The Spinners, The Stylistics and Chicago.
Go deeper on generosity with Chip Ingram:
- Download a free chapter of the book by clicking here.
- Share this with your leaders (5 books and a DVD) for only $22.50. That’s 50% off the regular price. When you go to the GenerousChurch store to place this order, simply enter the promo code “GENIUS11” to receive the discount.
Question for you: What has generosity taught you about relating to God and loving others?