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A Lesson From Termites?

Article Type: Biblical Stewardship

“Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously.” (2 Cor. 9:6, NIV)

A doorbell camera across the street caught the entire spectacle. In just seconds, an entire house in east Nashville collapsed.

While local television stations aired the video, neighbors expressed relief there wasn’t anyone in the house at the time. But they also wondered how an entire house could fold in one fell swoop.

Investigators quickly produced an answer: termites.

Although the house appeared structurally sound, the reality was termites had been devouring it for years. The structure was nothing more than a house of cards!

The obvious lesson here is to avoid judging a book by its cover. Outward appearance is not always an indicator of inner integrity. Indeed, what’s on the inside matters more than what’s on the outside!

This same principle applies to generosity. Although some disguise greed as charity, the reality is true generosity results when people give out of selfless love that spills over into super-abundance.

Jesus said the widow’s two coins offered at the temple were more than the extravagant offerings of the wealthy. (Mark 12:43, NIV)

Generosity isn’t measured by the size of the gift but by the size of the heart.

Theologian Philip Hughes puts it plainly, “Christian giving is the outward expression of a heart already rich in generosity.”

Resist the impulse to begin with your wallet; instead, set your heart to “grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ.” (Eph. 3:18, NIV) Without fail, you will “be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion.” (2 Cor. 9:11, NIV)

Since this generous life is built on Christ himself, it’s sturdy from the inside out and will never collapse. Not even termites can destroy it!


Barnabas Foundation is proud to be your partner in promoting financial literacy and generous giving at your church. Find articles, books, studies and more for your church under Tools and Resources. You can also email me at pleo@BarnabasFoundation.com or call 888.448.3040.

Rev. Phillip Leo is the Church Communications Director at Barnabas Foundation. Read Phil's online bio.