2010-08-25

Generosity vs Fairness Mindset

The mindset of God and that of worldly man are quite different. The Kingdom mindset is discussed in Kingdom Laws & Principles. In this post, I want reflect further on the thought presented in KP#17 Purpose of Significance - Giving to Life & Harmony.

Generosity is God's mindset. Fairness is a typical thinking of man.


Fairness Mindset is a about "One should get according to one's effort put in". It is rewards according to performance or usually amount of effort put in. There is no free lunch. You must work to get it. You must earn it. It could be wages, acceptances, respect, and so forth.

Generosity is about giving more than what one deserves according to the fairness mindset. More than the fair share is what makes for the generosity. Generosity, perhaps, could be defined as better than fairness.

As revealed in the Parable for the Laborers in the Vineyard Mat 20:1-16, while God (represented by the Owner) is happy to be generous, man is more interested about fairness - pay according to effort. (Man is represented by the 1st batch of laborers who agreed to work for 1 day wage for 1 day work contract).

God gives generosity and man demands fairness.

Our fairness mindset of pay for performance makes us upset with the generous owner. It also explains why we support the elder brother of the prodigal son. Why is the father so unfair towards the elder brother. He was obedient. He worked hard and yet he got nothing to celebrate with friends. But when this horrible prodigal son came back, he got restoration of sonship despite loosing his inheritance and there was a big celebration. It is unfair! Injustice! (There are lots of sermons that spoke against the elder brother lack of love, self-righteousness, slave mentality and so forth).

Generosity begins with Acceptance
God's generosity towards us begins with our acceptance evidenced by our obedience. The laborers at the market accepted the Owner's offer a job without a contract but just a promise (20:4 whatever right I will pay you). Those at the eleven's hour just responded to the call for a job even without the explicit promise. Our acceptance must be supported by corresponding action as per James 2:19,24.

Enjoyed the Generosity when You are IN
The Elder Brother's problem was that he did not his position and identity as Son. He behaved like a slave with the pay-for-performance mindset. No wonder he could not be generous and kind towards others, even his own brother. As children of God, brothers and sisters of Jesus, we must learn to trust God to take good care of us and we can extend His generosity towards others. Rom 12:1-2 tells to be transformed and be not conformed to this world. We must change from the pay-for-performance to the generosity mindset. There will be untransformed mindset believers criticizing you for your generosity. They may even accused you for encouraging laziness. This is same erroneous argument that too much grace will result in license for sins.

The Principle for Generosity mindset is given in

Math 20:9 And when those hired about the eleventh hour came, each of them received a denarius.
i.e. As long as you work from the hour of hiring, you get the same daily wage at the end of the day.

This principle is seen in Exo 16:17-18 ...They gathered, some more, some less,... much has no left over, little had no lack. Each of them gathered as much as he could eat.

It is pointed out specifically in (2Cor 8:15) As it is written, “Whoever gathered much had nothing left over, and whoever gathered little had no lack.

It is exemplified by God in Eph 3:20 who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us.

The Applications
The rewards is not based on effort put in but on the needs.

The effort put in is not just to feed our needs but to contribute to something else bigger.

Our work is not to feed ourselves as God will provide for us, but to contribute to others. The vineyard laborers might just see his work as earning a wage but the harvests of their work is giving greater impact.

As Giver, we give so that others have no lack. We don't give out of what we don't have but out of what we have. We trust God to supply our needs. Giving is not loosing but adding to the personal and community life and wealth. The value of life is more than just money but harmony, joy, hope, laughter, freedom from bondage of all kinds, etc.  The economy well being and health for the body, psychological well-being of the souls, the well-being of the spirit, and the social well being of our relationships with men and God.

As bosses, we see the need to help those that required special assistance; to share the profits our business. As employees, we see the need to help the weaker colleagues to do well; to contribute productively to the company even though we don't own the company. We contribute because we want to. We are intrinsically motivated, because we have Christ within and we we work for Christ through our work for our bosses.

With a generosity attitude, we work with much greater productivity than the fairness mindset. We don't work purely for pay but for the pleasure and satisfaction of the greater significance accomplished. This is the stress-free work of the original Eden.

2010-08-10

You are a Masterpiece Created in Christ Jesus

Was completing the Bible Study on Bible Study on John 1:19-34 The Testimony of Bapti....
It impressed me much that Baptist John was very clear about his purpose and calling of life. What about us? Hope the following words, taken from the study, would be of encouragement to you ...

A created being does not know his purpose of life. He must ask his Creator, what he is created for. 

Jesus comes to reveal the purpose and calling of man. His purpose and our calling of life is the same thing. Our purpose of life is to know Jesus, the Son of God and to have eternal relationship with Him. Simply put, to know our Creator and live with Him. 

That is the starting point, knowing Jesus as our God who loves us and who has created us for a unique purpose. It takes us a earthly life-time to find out our journey and destination of life. God will reveal step by step in details. 

Experience the love of God and trust in Him to lead and provide for you. Christ saved us for good work. You are wonderfully created and loved and is a glorious witness for Him as did John the Baptist. Not in worldly sense and worldly value, but precious and valuable from His sight. ref Eph 2:8-10. Not forget about the v10, We are His masterpiece, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared before that we would walk in them. We are no accident but intentional created masterpiece. Find out what you are called to be.... 

More thoughts ....
We are created in, not just by, Christ Jesus. 'By' denotes created and done with. 'In' denotes continuous presence and interaction after the creation. God did not created us and leave us; but created us to enjoy Him. 

Some thought from Ravi's Podcast....
"Time is the brush of God as He paints His masterpiece on the canvas of the human heart. ... Time consists of those moments in which He etches it upon our heart. There is never a tick of the clock, but that something of significance has been painted into your own heart. One that will carry with you the rest of your life. And God works in time, through time, within that scafold thing of time that He created and we must understand it that He doesn't work like a slot machine where you put the coin in and the solution comes out. He is working in time as a master painting His work on the canvas of human heart." .... from http://www.rzim.org/just-thinking-broadcasts/though-the-fig-tree-does-not-bud-part-3-of-4/

In other words, there is not a meaningless moment in your life. The seemingly dull, painfully sick, depressing moments are but empty spaces and powerful strokes that make up your masterpiece; without such seemingly emtpy and painful moments, the painting would not be great.

See also Journey of Life


Study of Ancient Chinese wisdom and classics reveal that the Ancient Chinese know the Ways of God and even understand God as a God with personality and emotion but they have yet to find this personal God in Christ Jesus. We write in all these posts to declare that Jesus, the God revealed to man, as the personal true God, as Father to us, to love us and be involved in our lives. They are just one step away from knowing the true Fatherly God made known through Jesus Christ.