Jesus paid it all. But after we accept His generous gift of salvation, He invites us to pay it forward. “If anyone wishes to come after Me,” He said, “he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me” (Matt. 16:24). Instead of living for ourselves, He invites us to live for the sake of others, as He did—for God so loved the world, that He gave up what He valued the most in order to give us the gift of eternal life (John 3:16).
However, while we’re grateful for the generosity we receive from Christ and others, we can have a hard time being generous ourselves. We know the value of a gift is in the sacrifice, because it costs the giver something to give it to us—and that can be scary. So, we strive for self-sufficiency instead. This makes us greedy, because we don’t know what the future holds and what we will actually need in the days ahead. Chasing the unknown, we work ourselves to the detriment of our relationships and ourselves. We steal, hoard, and withhold from others, all for the sake of our own sense of security.
Jesus warns us against such self-centered attitudes: “Guard against every kind of greed. [For] life is not measured by how much you own” (Luke 12:15 NLT). Instead, life is much more about giving yourself away—and the Lord rewards our generosity. The author of Hebrews reminds us, “do not neglect doing good and sharing, for with such sacrifices God is pleased” (Heb. 13:16).
That’s why we’ve compiled this booklet full of Dr. Stanley’s teachings on how we can be good stewards of our time, talents, and money. As Solomon wisely noted: “There is one who scatters, and yet increases all the more, and there is one who withholds what is justly due, and yet it results only in want” (Prov. 11:24). We hope the Lord uses this booklet to help you prayerfully make wise decisions regarding your personal resources and to join Christ in living a generous life.