The fear of human opinion disables; trusting in God protects you from that. (Proverbs 29:25 MSG)
So often we are afraid to be generous to people around us, because we fear what others will think of us. Human opinion weighs heavy on whether or not we will be a generous person.
Many times we don’t have conversations with people who really need to hear a kind word or friendly voice, because we are afraid of what they will think of us—will our words be valuable to them or not. Or even worse, we are fearful of what our friends, our spouses, or our “perceived audience” would think of us if we were to have a conversation with “that person.”
And the same goes with giving our resources away. Often we don’t want to be generous with our money or our things because we are not sure it will be replaced if we were to give it away. And if we don’t get our resources replaced, then we won’t have monetary or material wealth—we might become “less than” in the eyes of others.
Sometimes it’s the opposite—what happens if people don’t want what we have to give them… What if our money and things aren’t good enough for them? Do we become less valuable of a person because we have been rejected?
We get this twisted idea that our wisdom, money or stuff defines who we are as a person.
How did we become accustomed to having our wisdom, money or material goods be the metric of our value to society? The answers are many, but at the core is our lack of deep understanding of how much we mean to God.
Free from human opinion…
Our value and identity isn’t found in how much we know or tied to how much is in our bank accounts—it’s found in a generous relationship with God. What I mean is this; God is generous with us, so that we can be generous with our neighbors—as freely and as generous God is to us, we are to be equally free and generous.
Being generous is tied to our trust in God—trusting that He will continue to meet our needs, and realizing our value is found in the extravagant love of Jesus.
When we digest these truths, we have the protection to be free from human opinion to live a generous life.