My seven year old daughter had a hard time sharing something with her younger sister (I don’t recall exactly what it was). I proceeded to have a conversation with her and informed her about the joys of giving. That feeling, oh that feeling of joy you get when you give someone something they couldn’t otherwise have had had you not given it to them. She replied saying, she did not feel anything, in fact she felt worse because now she does not have as much as she once did. Isn’t that how you feel sometimes, when you give away something that was yours – especially if you worked hard to earn it? Even when the money goes towards family members, you still fight the resentment. How that you just logged 40 hours on the clock for the week, and 85% of your salary is gone to people other than yourself.

Simon, a fisherman, had toiled all night and had caught no fish. He was hard working, skillful and excellent at his profession but this night was different, not even one fish caught. How frustrating that must have been. As he called it a day at dawn, Jesus asked to use his ship. Simon’s answer could have been no, after all, he had just had a frustrating and fruitless night. But he chose to be generous with his boat, even in defeat. Jesus put the boat to use in preaching the gospel. After preaching, Jesus rewarded Simon with a fish catch that was so great the net could not hold it. More so, Jesus gave Simon a more abundant career – he became a fisher of men.

An understanding that you are on earth to serve, to give – makes generosity joyous to you. When you come to realize that all you have and will ever get was given to you by someone. When you accept that God, and not you, owns the cattle on a thousand hills. When you believe that your gifts shall be restored unto you with good measure, shaken together and running over … then the joys of generosity will begin to flood your soul. Generosity leads to abundance, and not the other way around. The thinking that when you have, you will be generous, and when you are generous, you will be joyous, is erroneous. Instead you become joyous first, mostly by choice. Your joy allows you to be generous, and then your gifts bring in the abundance. The abundance leads to even more joy. And the circle repeats itself again. It’s what I call the joyous abundance of generosity. One of the life’s greatest joys is in seeing someone advance as a result of your generosity.

… And Jesus said unto Simon, Fear not; from henceforth thou shalt catch men. – Luke 5:10