Generosity and God’s Blessing (Deuteronomy 15:7-11)
Givers Take All: A Helping Culture Improves Performance
The strongest factor for organizational performance may be a culture of helping. According to the McKinsey Quarterly, a group of Harvard psychologists studied performance of 64 units in the U.S. intelligence service after 9/11. They discovered that:
The topic of generosity arises in Deuteronomy 15:7-8. “If there is among you anyone in need…do not be hard-hearted or tight-fisted toward your needy neighbor. You should rather open your hand.” Generosity and compassion are of the essence of the covenant. “Give liberally and be ungrudging when you do so, for on this account the Lord your God will bless you in all your work” (Deut. 15:10). Our work becomes fully blessed only when it blesses others. As Paul put it, “Love is the fulfilling of the law” (Rom. 13:10).
For most of us, the money earned by work gives us the means to be generous. Do we actually use it generously? Moreover, are there ways we can be generous in our work itself? The passage speaks of generosity specifically as an aspect of work (“all your work”). If a co-worker needs help developing a skill or capability, or an honest word of recommendation from us, or patience dealing with his or her shortcomings, would these be opportunities for generosity? These kinds of generosity may cost us time and money, or they may require us to reconsider our self-image, examine our complicity, and question our motives. If we could become ungrudging in making these sacrifices, would we open a new door for God’s blessing through our work?