They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, thus storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is truly life.1 Timothy 6:18-19
Where sin compels us to say, “I need more and more for my wants,” the gospel of Jesus Christ compels us instead toward generosity, where we say “I want to give more and more for others’ needs.”
The gospel compels us to say, “Because Jesus so generously and sacrificially gave himself for my deepest need, I now want to give generously and sacrificially for the needs of others.”
Living With Open Hands
We see how the gospel compels us toward generosity in Acts 2:44-45. This description of the early church says, “And all who believed were together and had all things in common. And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need.” (Acts 2:44-45)
Instead of living with closed fists holding on tightly to whatever riches they could squeeze out of this world, the gospel compelled the early church to live with hands open in worship to God. And because their hands were open in worship to God, their hands were then open in generosity to the needs of others.
They allowed their money and possessions to be freely used to meet the needs of others. This was not forced sharing, like communism or socialism. This was – and still is – far more beautiful than that because it was done freely by hearts moved by the love of Jesus Christ. They still had the right over their own property. But instead, the gospel compelled them to no longer see their money, possessions, time, and resources as their own. They saw them instead for what they truly were – God’s resources given to them to be used for God’s purposes and God’s glory.
Tight Fists Can’t Grasp True Life
Jesus calls us to recognize that those who believe in him have treasure promised to us in heaven that is far greater than all the riches of this world combined. So we don’t need to cling tight-fisted to whatever riches we can get in this world.
First Timothy 6:17-19 says:
“As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy. They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, thus storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is truly life.”
Tight fists can’t grasp that which is truly life.
If you’re living your life tight-fisted, clenching on to this life and the riches of this world, then you won’t have open hands that are able to take hold of true life, which is Jesus. Jesus himself is truly life (John 14:6).
Giving Guards Our Hearts
Giving away generously what God has so richly given us – including both our money and our time – guards our hearts from becoming consumed by the riches of this world. The gospel compels us toward joyful generosity so that we’re instead consumed with the Giver instead of becoming obsessed with his gifts.