Generosity can be a risky proposition. Jesus calls into question this perspective of generosity. He reminds us that our values are upside-down: that God’s fairness seems unjust; that the joy of receiving doesn't begin to compare with the joy of giving, that the clearest evidence of God's blessing in a person's life has less to do with how much He has than with how much He gives, and that God's work can be more clearly discerned in what He does with what you surrender than with what He drops into your lap. These are counter-cultural revolutionary statements that call into question the economic realities under which we humans mostly operate. We know we're supposed to believe it. We just struggle with finding a place for such a belief in the world in which we operate.
Maybe it has to do, in the end, with faith. People who choose to define blessedness by what they give and not what they receive do so because they believe that in one way or another, there is enough for everyone to enjoy. They trust! Where others fear shortage, or being short-changed, these people see God's grace and plenty. When others give in to the impulse to hoard, the trusting people are ruled by the generosity of the Holy Spirit. Where others fear about their share and worry about comparing, trusting ones are content with what they have received. Where some clutch their possessions more tightly out of fear, their hands may be opened by the sharing nature of the One who opened his hands to the nails.
Make no mistake. This generosity, sharing can be risky. What if, after all, the world is right? What if you share generously and then, whenever and wherever the accounting is done, it turns out that you don't have enough? What if you don't get your “fair share?” What if no one passes a portion of “your” bread and fish back to you? What if no one else acknowledges your contribution? That's all possible. And yet Jesus promises us that a lifestyle of giving, not receiving, is the way to live in true joy and under God. It strikes me that Jesus never lived a life of plenty and yet spoke of God's blessing as if He knew it first-hand. Maybe giving and sharing opens up whole new realms of joy and peace and abundance that receiving never even hints at.
There's only one way to find out, of course. Stop reading and go find a thing and a way and a place to give. Time. Talent. Energy. Possessions. Money, of course. Food. Work in a food pantry or a homeless shelter. Spend time with a lonely person. Find your basket of loaves and fish and give it to God. And then watch as He makes someone's day with it.