My marriage turns 18 years old this month. Our last year of teenage marriage! As my wife and I discuss our next year of marriage we want to focus on generosity and hospitality per Romans 12:13, “Contribute to the needs of God’s people, and welcome strangers into your home.”
It is easy for us to feel like we are doing enough in the area of generosity. We tithe and kick in extra here and there, and even treat friends to lunch sometimes. We support international work and local work, and give to our church first. But our generosity has become in some ways comfortable and not sacrificial as Paul mentions at the beginning of Romans 12. We can also feel distant and disengaged from our generosity when it is not coupled with hospitality and relationship, which leads to maturity in our love.
When Jesus talked about loving your neighbor in the sermon on the mount, he wrapped it up with a stark statement, “Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” The greek word for “perfect” here is teleios (τέλειος). It means “brought to its end, finished, complete.” The same word is used in Ephesians 4:13 for becoming mature. I want to pursue this kind of mature, generous love.
I deeply appreciate the pursuit and maturity of your love and generosity with God’s people around the world. Because of you and your generosity, churches are being planted in small, remote villages. Orphans are being given a home. And families at the brink of extreme poverty have hope of a new life.
May we be more and more like our heavenly Father, complete in showing love to everyone.