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.

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