Joyce Meyer on generosity

2-corinthians-9-6

Have you ever had an experience that moved you yet when you tried to capture it in words to share with someone you couldn’t do it justice? That’s how I feel when I try to tell people about the Joyce Meyer conference I attended almost two weeks ago. If you ever have an opportunity to attend—do it. You may be surprised by what parts of her messages strike you—for me it was usually simple things that I’d heard before, probably from my dad, that had me saying “Amen” out loud.

The four sessions that made up the event were about the redemptive names of God. When you know someone’s name you know more about who they are, or what they do, and by knowing God’s names, we can trust him and he becomes more real to us. The names that she shared were: Yahweh, Jehovah Rafa, Jehovah Elyon, El Shaddai, Jehovah Elohim, Jehovah Shalom, Jehovah Jireh, Jehovah Tsebaoth, Jehovah Nissi, Jehovah M’Kaddesh, Jehovah Tsidkenu. All of these names culminate in the name that is above all names—Jesus. I wasn’t familiar with the spelling of most of the words that came after Jehovah, so thank God for Google!

Before she got to her actual message, Mama Joyce would encourage us to give to Joyce Meyer Ministries, to allow them to continue to do the amazing things they’re doing around the world. During one such session she talked about how if we’re faithful over little things, God will give us greater things. And when you feel like nothing is happening in your life, that you’re not doing anything or going anywhere, that’s when God is working in you, and we must not leave a situation we’re in before God releases us.

If you’re like me, your question might be: how do I know when I’m in a situation where I should be still and let God work in me? As you spend more time in prayer and studying of the bible, you’ll get better at sensing God’s will for you at certain times. The closer you get to God, the easier it is for him to talk to you. But at the same time he can use people who don’t even believe in him to reach you so the whole thing is kind of mind-blowing. Since I don’t feel like I hear from God, I know I have more work to do in the bible-reading and prayer departments!

But let’s talk about generosity for a minute, since each of the sessions started with a call for us to be generous. If you look at yourself and your life, would you call yourself a generous person? Are you generous with some things but stingy with others? I’ve looked into this aspect of my life before and I already know that I’m generous with my time but not so generous with money. It’s easy to justify not giving money to the person on the street, or not treating someone to lunch—I have bills to pay (mortgage, car, utilities, etc) on one paycheck. But how do I explain the fact that many of the generous people around me don’t have a lot of money themselves but still give from the little they have? If I borrow $11.45 from you I’ll round it up when paying you back, but I’m more likely to give you $12 than $15. These may be little things that don’t mean much to some, but when I think of how I feel in my heart over money issues, I know I’m being called to be more generous and I’ve been better in the last couple of years—but there’s room for improvement, and I’m actually glad that Joyce didn’t shy away from encouraging us to give, even though the event was free.

If you’re like me, 2 Corinthians 9:6 is the verse for us:

Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously.

Don’t you want to reap generously? I know I do! I want to be able to upgrade certain areas of my life. But more importantly, when I do something stingy, I don’t feel good, whereas I’ve never regretted being generous. That’s part of what you’re reaping I think—that good feeling in your heart from giving to someone who’s less fortunate than you, or to someone who just doesn’t expect it. Joyce called this the Kingdom Economy.

How do you rank in the generosity department?

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21 thoughts on “Joyce Meyer on generosity

  1. Great recap Jummy!. That scripture text gives us a lot to think about. In the generosity department I’ve found that I’m not stingy with money. If I have it I’ll give it generosly, I will attribute this to my mom who was/is a great example of giving financially. The area that I need to improve on is giving more of my time and talents.

    • Thank you, Highly Favored!

      I’m so glad that you’ve learned well. My parents are like your mom, even though they’ve never been wealthy. I think growing up without a lot of money has made me less generous with it—but that must change!

      May God help you as you strive to be more generous with your time and talents—I’m sure you’ll brighten the world by sharing both!

    • Thank you for visiting and commenting, ms. cookie. That’s wonderful that when you see those names you’re familiar with their meaning and it impacts you. It’s really great to be able to meditate on all the things that God can do.

    • we all hear from God. Every Christian has the holy spirit inside of them. us Nigerians call it “something”. We often say that “something told me this morning to call my mother”. That something is the holy spirit. We can also hear from God through blogs, friends, reading our bible or even watching TV.

  2. It is very important to remember to understand the true meaning of this scripture. You sow kindness you reap kindness, you sow hatred you reap hatred, you sow love you reap love the quantity of your sowing determines the quantity of your reaping. It saddens me that almost all pastors today especially pentecostal ones have turned this scripture to be all about money so what happens to the person who only has $100 to their name should they now go and steal so that they can be generously rewarded? The rest of this chapter talks about sharing generously it does not say what we have to share all it tells us is that if we have then it is good to share, the more you share the more your blessings will double. I could have a spare two hours in my work week and choose to share that with the homeless and feed them that too is giving, I could have more than I need to eat at home and share that with a struggling young mother trying to make ends meet that is giving, I may have a bonus this month and pay off someone’s school fees that is sharing. What irks me is that most of these preachers live very lavish lives and 3/4 of their congregation are struggling to to make ends meet yet they keep drumming up the monetary value of giving to their already rich ministries down people’s throats. How do you explain a church whose members sow generously sometimes even over generously but they still feel the need to sell sermon CDs and daily devotional what are they teaching someone like me who already has issues with their interpretation of this verse. When I talk about this verse I always emphasize the non monetary aspect of giving.

    • Pendo, I always enjoy your comments and this one is no exception.

      You raise some great points. To me, we’re called to give generously in relation to our situation, which reminds me of the widow with her two coins. Jesus considered her more generous than the wealthy people who gave far larger offerings because they gave out of their wealth while she gave everything she had, so I think we should always give the most that we can, and trust that God sees our heart and our situation, and will bless us accordingly.

      I agree that money is not the only way one can be generous—as I mentioned I find it easier to be more generous with my time than with money, but I’ve felt that I’m being called to be more generous financially. Others may have the opposite issue.

      You make a good point about the wealth of many of these preachers, and I used to think a lot about that and it impacted my willingness to give. But now my philosophy is that it’s between them and God: I don’t know how much Joyce tithes or how generous she is out of her earnings, but if she lives what she preaches then I trust that she is doing the right thing. When I saw what the ministry that bears her name is doing around the world, I felt that led to make a small contribution, even though in the grand scheme of things it’s pennies.

      Regarding selling material even though they’re rich, I see it as more money that can be used for God’s work. That being said, even before I really got into Joyce Meyer’s podcasts, I remember reading about an investigation into her finances on Wikipedia—check it out here. In a way it reminds me that she’s still a sinner like all of us and is just as prone to making mistakes. I just hope she (and others like her) has introspective moments and checks her heart with God regularly like we all need to.

      Non-monetary giving, like you mentioned is valuable. I think it can be even more valuable and sacrificial than financial giving.

      • I hear you. I made a decision a long time ago that none of these “expensive” ministries will ever see my money I would rather give it to someone who needs it directly than plough in money to buy yet another private jet or luxury SUV I am sorry I could never live with myself knowing that I could have directly impacted someone’s life but decided to give to an “expensive” ministry instead that is my stand and I live by it. My point about selling sermons CDs etc by some of these churches is that how do you expect to spread the word to all if you are selling it to some who cannot even afford a meal a day? If I decide to put money into my church’s publishing ministry for example I do not expect them to sell “Gospel spreading” material because I as a financially capable person have made that commitment so that those who cannot afford can be reached. Like you say it is between them and their God we have all fallen short of the glory.

        • Oh! Yes I missed your point re: selling materials but I get it now (thanks for clarifying!). My take is that those materials are to be purchased by people who can afford it, and those who can’t afford it will receive the gospel and see God’s love in action for free through the various outreach ministries being supported by the sales of the material, among other things.

          No God-based ministry should expect the poor to buy their material in my opinion—it’s more important to take care of your basic needs first and foremost. Thank God that access to him is free and cannot be bought.

          • @Pendo, I like your comments!
            The joy of giving to the truly needy surpasses giving to ministries who are already made!

            The church ought to be giving out more rather than taking in! Not giving crumbs to fulfill all righteousness or make dem no talk! Kind of giving.

            The BIBLE is enough material for me to read! All other churchy materials are all a money making device! I was in the choir and prayer band department, before I decided to search GOD on my own. Afterall, the bible says everybody should work out his or her salvation with trembling and fear.

            Serving GOD is a beautiful and fulfilling experience if only all these shenanigans in Christendom is stopped!

  3. Hey Jummy,
    I agree that giving is important be it money or time. I personnaly find it fulfilling to give to others. However, iI get irked when I constantly give and some people don’t always return the favor. I really need to have more patience with these individuals however I get to the point where I just say “Ok that’s enough.” Ultimately I want to be more generous with all aspects of my life but I also need to be able to move past this feeling of being taken advantage off (if that’s the right word).

    As for hearing from God, I know if he can’t answer me it’s because I have a lesson to learn and he wants me to figure it out or that he knows I can do it on my own. At least that’s what iI believe. I grew up with my mom always telling me that God’s busy helping those in greater need than I. So I just kinda figured he’sthere when iI need him most but that I should be able to get by on my own when I can.

    • Hi Rachie, thanks for joining the conversation!

      I see you as a generous person and I definitely know what you mean about not feeling good when you feel like you’re being used or taken advantage of (totally the right word). But imagine: Christians are called to do what’s right, even if we don’t get the payback where we expect it. It’s hard and I struggle with it daily (no joke—especially at work; today was a fail). BUT, you can also protect yourself: when you start feeling like you’re being used you can take a step back and direct your generosity to another person or cause, and I don’t think that’s a bad thing. The most important thing is to get into the habit of doing something without expecting anything in return—it’s a hard lesson for me!

      Great point about when God either doesn’t seem to answer or gives us an answer that we weren’t expecting: maybe we have to go through a situation and learn from it.

      Your last point is very interesting: I was raised to believe that God has time for all of our problems, no matter how small, and not getting an answer has nothing to do with him being too busy or putting our request on the back burner: it’s always for our benefit that we either don’t get an answer quickly or don’t get the answer we want. I don’t know a lot about Catholicism but I was raised Protestant and we were encouraged to bring all our problems, big or small, to God and told that he hears them all and will answer them—but it’s on his timing and schedule, not ours, and we have to have faith.

      Such good food for thought in your comment!

  4. Yeah it basically the same. Maybe it came out wrong but I do have a head cold and I’m lucky I can remember my name! Lol I was never told God was too busy to hear me. Just that he might not answer the way we expect someone to just answer a question and that if he doesn’t answer like that it doesn’t mean he didn’t “answer”. However, I have a strong faith but I also see situations as not always out of my control. My first reaction isn’t to turn to God right away. Is there anything I can do to change / fix it? God gave us free will and emotions and logic so I try to use those as beat I can. Doesn’t mean I don’t carry him with me. I see him exactly like a father. There to help his children when their in need but at the same time trying to let them grow and figure things out on their own. Does that make sense? I’m sorry I’m not familiar with the Protestant faith but I’d love to learn more about your beliefs. :-)

    • It makes total sense! I’m pretty independent so I tend to try to solve problems on my own but I’m learning that my first step should be to tell God what’s going on then do my part. I tend to leave God out of the equation and I can tell you that course of action isn’t working for me. Joyce is always talking about how you have to say to God “without you, I can do nothing”—and it’s hard to say that, because our society is all about “you can do it!” And empowering yourself but I think God wants us to rely on him. I’m working on this!

      I love how you described God as our heavenly dad—so true!

  5. Hmmm.. I know that I can definitely do more in the generosity/giving department.. I want to do more by God’s grace.. Interestingly, in recent times it’s been coming again and again and your post reinforces it again :-) (Thanks Jummy!)..
    Not just giving when it’s convenient (that’s easy!) but giving also when it is not convenient..
    Reading this post makes me want to attend a Joyce Meyer conference too!

    • Aww, I trust you, you’ll do more by God’s grace! And your point about giving when it’s not convenient is spot on—my mom in particular is the best example of this I know.

  6. I love all the names of Jehovah and its so uplifting when using it during worship and praise. Each of HIS name reflects what HE did at a particular time for HIS children. I use Jehovah Shammah and Jehovah Jireh the most.

    Generosity! Gene-rosity? Humph! The way I understand we humans define generosity is when someone is always giving out money or gifts. You mentioned time? Humans would term it nice rather than generous.

    One thing I know my bible teaches me is that,when you have 2 coats, you can give out one and we should not cast our pearls in front of swines, or else they would trample on it, and apply wisdom in everything we do! Hence, I am generous to some people, and non-generous to some depending on the situation.

    GNG, not all givings are blessed by the Lord! Surprised? Don’t be. Because, some give out for different motive, and GOD knows all our motive behind an action and that HE judges.

    Like you said, there are bills to be paid here, and when bills are not paid, services are cut off or likely charged extra for delaying payment and there is no shortcut or make we manage the situation as we do back home. So by the time someone finishing paying off all the bills, what remains? Unless one forfeit buying personal stuff for themselves like clothes and shoes, if they do so every payday but definitely not toiletries!

    The irony of giving is that, the person that you are likely giving, might be living extravagantly or better off than you, and expects to be bailed out by prudent friends or from your meagre income! Some Nigerians have the habit of always asking, when you give them today, tomorrow, next-tomorrow, they would take it as a right the next time and continue to come up with sob stories! Because they believe you are giving from the surplus you have! For you to give them #10:00, it means you have #100:00!

    Yes! GOD loves a cheerful giver and HE also says, a man that cannot take care of his household, is worst than an infidel! So, why should I do father xmas outside, when I have not celebrated it with my own household?

    Phew! Another epistle! GNG, your topics brings the talkative in me o!

    • Hello New Dawn—you provoke much thought with your comments!

      Jehovah Shammah is new to me—I looked it up and it means “God is there”—a good remmber. And I like what you said in reply to Pendo regarding studying your bible. We don’t NEED all of these other resources that give us someone else’s interpretation of the bible BUT for some people (me included), these people have encouraged me to delve into the bible to know it better, so in a way it can be helpful. I tend to stick to free resources personally.

      So much to reflect on in your comment—thank you for the food for thought. It’s easy to judge someone for either not giving but like you implied, who knows what’s going in their homes.

      It’s quite true that God judges our motives and with that we can give or not give, knowing full well that God knows what’s in our heart.

      I want to strike a balance when it comes to being generous: God has given me the means to enjoy my life even after paying for my needs; sometimes I have more than at other times. If I can afford to buy lunch x times a week, or buy a sweet treat y times a week, then I know I can forgo that bit of pleasure once in a while for someone who appears to be in more need than I am. But this rationalizing is between me and God.

  7. I disagree with Pendo’s comments. Why is it okay for secular business people to be millionaires and fly private jets, yet it’s okay for Ministers to fly economy? Why should we expect them to live average lives? Why is it okay for others to sell books and CDs, but the church can’t do the same? This is how many preachers make their money, as oppose to “taking money from the church”.
    Us Christians need to tap into scriptures such as Genesis 1:28, John 10:10, and EVERY scripture in the bible which talks about financial dominion.
    As for generosity, I have learned that if you want to receive, you have to give. I love the book of proverbs because it talks about giving to find favour and gain friendships.

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