Living Generously

Would you classify yourself as a generous person? What does it really mean to be generous? In this season of giving, I would challenge you to take a few minutes and think about this today.

Last weekend, I (like every other person in the city it seemed) was out shopping. There were obviously crowds but the Christmas music and the spirit of the season kept everyone in fairly good moods. Like many other people, I deposited my extra change into the Salvation Army kettle as I left the department store without giving it much thought. That counts as being generous, right? The hard, sad truth is that my budget was not affected in any way by that donation and it was just as easy to put it in their kettle as it would have been to put it in my wallet. Until now, I really haven’t even thought about it. There is something to be said for giving away what you don’t need or aren’t using anymore. There are many people who can benefit from these things. But, if we are only giving what we no longer want or won’t even miss, I don’t think that counts as real generosity. I think that really being generous has to hurt a little. Click To Tweet There is an old song by Bobby Michaels that has this line: “I will not offer anything that costs me nothing.” (You can listen to it on Youtube here if you are interested.) Admittedly, he is singing about giving to God, but I think it applies to other areas of life also.

I looked up the definition of generosity and found synonyms such as lavishness, openhandedness, unselfish. I don’t think my measly 33 cent donation was very lavish; do you? So, why do so many of us have a hard time being generous? I think that, deep down, we think that goodness (money, time, help, love) is a limited commodity. If we give it away, we will run out. We innately believe that we have to protect ourselves by keeping what we have.

I listened to a podcast earlier this week that featured an interview with John Stanley, creator of the Generosity Gameplan. (Here is the link if you are interested.) He says generosity should really be defined as seeing ourselves as a funnel God can use to bless others. That puts a new spin on things! Generosity isn’t about giving away what we have; it’s being a conduit to share God’s goodness which, by the way, is unlimited.

What would happen if we lived with true generosity? Click To Tweet

What do you think? I would love to hear your opinion on this…

  • I thought I was generous prior to moving to the Mission field I often gave 15-20% or more and felt good about it. When I moved to the mission field my pay was cut to 25% of what I had made prior and cost were higher but I needed to give as I felt led. Now I am giving 25% or more and God meets my needs. I agree is it giving if there is no cost thanks for the reminder.

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