All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they shared everything they had. (Acts 4:32)

IN 1996 I WENT ON A MISSION TRIP to Malawi, Central Africa. Following a harrowing sailboat ride across Lake Malawi, our team was stranded overnight in a tiny village with few provisions and no way home. As we counted our stock, we found we had everything we required. By sharing our supplies, we provided all that was needed for the night. This worked because as believers we were one in heart and mind.

In this day and age, I often hear Acts 4:32 quoted as a reason for redistributing wealth or goods from one group to another. The saying “from each according to his ability to each according to his need” is often used. What history demonstrates is that this type of singleness of heart can’t be forced. It has to come from within, which means it has to come from the mind of God. It has to come from the body of Christ.

As believers in the living God, we are called to share what we have with those in need. By seeking the Lord, by realizing that all we have belongs to the Father, we are more open to giving to others with a willing heart. So let’s be people of generosity. Let’s be the people of Acts who choose to give out of our abundance in order to help another in need.

Take an inventory of your generosity quotient. Do you give from a generous heart or only when coerced?

Marty Norman is a wife, mother, and grandmother. She is an avid reader, loves to hike, and is passionate about mission work.