What is Spontaneous Generosity?

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spontaneous generosity

Have you ever been so thankful, so grateful, so inspired, that you suddenly wanted to spontaneously give? If your answer is "yes," I suppose the series of events, stories, pictures, conversations, and prayer creating that moment was incredibly special.

We see something like this in nature when certain materials come together in a rare event. Spontaneous combustion occurs when a mass of material bursts into flame as a result of chemical reactions within the substance, without the addition of heat from an external source. (Source: Dictionary.com)

We also have seen something like this in our giving, but this type of generosity can be rare. A situation or opportunity presents itself, and something happens inside you. Your heart is moved. You are overwhelmed with thankfulness. You have to respond. Extravagant giving flows from you in response without regard to your wellbeing. You just experienced spontaneous generosity.


This first occurred a couple thousand years ago, when Jacob had a fascinating dream as he saw a ladder to heaven with angels coming and going. Then he heard God cast a vision for him and his offspring and make this promise.

"Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land. For I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you." Genesis 28:15 ESV

Jacob awoke from the dream and was so overcome with amazement, worship, and thankfulness that he built an altar with the stone he had used for his pillow and pledged 10% of everything he would ever have. He was blown away from the inside-out, and He had to give to the one who was so gracious and generous to him.

Then Jacob made a vow, saying, "If God will be with me and will keep me in this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat and clothing to wear, so that I come again to my father's house in peace, then the Lord shall be my God, and this stone, which I have set up for a pillar, shall be God's house. And of all that you give me I will give a full tenth to you." Genesis 28:20-22 ESV


There was no meeting with his financial advisor, no asking his friends what they thought, no review of his net worth statement. He spontaneously combusted with generosity in response to God's promises to Him, and the rest is history. Now I am not advising you to make your financial choices without counsel, quite the contrary, but when God moves you to give, you give. Giving is one of those tried and true spiritual choices that is after God's own heart.

God still makes promises to us today. May God's promises create this same spontaneous generosity in us in such a way that our overflow of resources be full of worship and thankfulness to the one who provides all we have and all we will ever need.

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