God has not called us to be rich, but to be extravagantly generous like He is. He did not so much love the world that He immersed wealth but rather He so loved the world that ‘He gave’.*1 That is who He is and that’s who we are or at least ought to be as believers.
"As I have loved you, love one another." *2 - Jesus
God’s end in mind has never been to make us rich for us/in ourselves or just for riches sake. No! Never has that ever been His desire nor will.
When God blessed Abraham, he didn’t bless him 'fwaaaa' anyhow. It was that through Abraham, God’s blessings would flow out to the families of the earth.*3 This was the end in mind; extravagant generosity. He seems to always fill our cup, only to expect us to empty it. It has never been about the filling but the emptying.
Paul tells the Corinthians that they would be made rich in every way so that they can show off how rich they are and to everyone how good God has been. No, no way!!!! But rather Paul says, "they would be made rich in every way so that (keyword ‘so that’ denoting purpose, reason or the why) you can be generous on every occasion."*4 Extravagant generosity! But look at what follows, Paul states it that, ‘it’s generosity that results in thanksgiving to God’. Our accumulating wealth doesn’t result in thanksgiving; it’s what we do with it, it’s our giving it away, it’s our generosity that does result into thanksgiving that gives glory to God.
Show me how rich you are by how generous you are, for this is the kingdom way. Not how much you earn, or drive or own. The kingdom way is to give of ourselves.
Actually Paul asks Timothy to rebuke rich people in his congregation; ‘not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth’, which Paul says is so uncertain but rather asks them to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment.*5 And Paul goes on to propose to them the kingdom way; ‘to do good, to be rich in good deeds and to be generous and willing to share’.
Extravagant generosity is the way of the kingdom.
And it’s that kingdom way that holds a deep reward as Paul states it; ‘In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.’ True life is not in laying up treasure for ourselves here on earth*7 but being extravagantly generous with what we have been given. After all moth and rust and economic depression or inflation or mere bad business decisions will consume it here.*6
That’s why even when we give, we don’t give out of our own selves but out of what we have been given. To understand that all we have is from his hands is to come to liberation (and freedom from the captivity of these riches) for it’s him who gives us the ability to make wealth.*7 Therefore we don’t give to get (because what we are giving isn’t ours in the first place) but rather we give because we have been given.
And to give out of the understanding and belief it’s us who have given is to merely reinforce our pride and sense of self importance, no wonder our giving gives us a sense of deep power and imperialism over those we give. Not forgetting the sense of deep self-entitlement we develop that is most seen by our impatience or deep inconsolable disappointment and anger when we don’t get what we want or desire rather than peaceful rest in contentment in the goodness of God.
We are generous because he has been generous to us, we give because we have been given. God has not called us to be rich but to be extravagantly generous.
*1 John 3:16
*2 John 13:34
*3 Genesis 12:2-3
*4 2 Corinthians 9:11
*5 1 Timothy 6:17-19
*6 Matthew 6:19-21
*7 Deuteronomy 8:18
Other: Luke 12:21