Big Hearted…

Money isn’t something we Brits like to talk about much. Giving, within the context of a local church, is either talk about too much or not at all. But all of us have been on the receiving end of some unbelievable generosity.

A few years ago someone gave me the money that I needed to learn to drive. Their very generous gift paid for all of my lessons and my tests almost down to the penny. Maybe you also have stories like that of the generosity of the Lord’s people. But even if you don’t, every Christian has received abundantly from God in terms of forgiveness, provision and the blessing of life on a daily basis. But how exactly should we, as Christians, approach the topic of giving?

There are plenty of books out there on the practicalities of giving for the Christian. But, at least to my knowledge, there aren’t many books that really deal with the ‘why?’ of giving. Sure, some books have a paragraph or a chapter but not a whole book dedicated to our understanding of giving and generosity and why we should give. In comes Joel Morris with his new book Big Hearted. Here’s why he says he wrote the book;

“I was moved to write this book in order to drill deeply into the subject of generosity and not to focus on the practical aspects of giving. I observed the deficiency through my work among networks of donors, generosity movements and may church congregations. In the process of writing I recognized a deficiency in myself too.”

It’s really interesting to think through the cultural views of money and generosity that we’re surrounded with on a daily basis. For example, as Morris point out;

“The lies we have been sold by the world say that more wealth and possessions equals greater joy and happiness. This is simply not true. So, if we believe the lies, we won’t want to talk about money. We’ll want to avoid it and keep our dealings locked away and hidden in the dark.”

Throughout this book Morris weaves in biblical texts and historical examples of generosity to help the reader wrestle with a perhaps uncomfortable, but necessary, topic. I think that Morris bases his understanding in the Bible and particularly in the doctrine of God and the Trinity. For examples, he says…

“There is a river of love, providentially flowing from creation’s Eden through history and on into the new creation and forever. It never stops flowing, because God the Father is generously overflowing through the Son and we are in Him, and He is in God. We should have a similar life-bringing impact in our communities, as rivers, cheerfully overflowing from Christ our source. Our love and cheerful generosity can bring life to what once was cold and dead. What beautiful, active, union, when the Son of God’s bride overflows with love to the world to reflect God’s glory.”

This book is full of great challenges and food for thought about generosity. This book is different from other books on giving, because it focusses more on the principles and reason behind generosity rather than the practicalities of it. I recommend you grab a copy of the book here and enjoy the short read.

I’ll leave you with one of the challenges that the book brings out…

“Our theology drives and informs our generosity. If our view of God is cold, fearful and limiting, then that’s what our generosity will be like!”

Joel Morris is the Executive Director of Union School of Theology in Bridgend, Wales. He is on the leadership team of Grace Community Church, Porthcawl. He was a missionary with Operation Mobilisation on the Logos 2 ship before starting a doctorate and career in Materials Engineering which took him from Aerospace to the Nuclear sector.

*** I received this book from the publishers in exchange for an honest review. This does not change the way I rate the book, my views are my own. ***

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