How Generous Are You?


I remembering seeing an episode of the Celebrity Apprentice where Sharon Ousborne was thrilled she was able to secure a 15 thousand dollar gift from a wealthy donor. She was ‘shocked’ because according to her, she had never seen anyone give that much money away before. Well, I was shocked but for a different reason. First, her reaction told me a lot about Mrs. Ousborne generosity quotient or lack thereof and then it reminded me how many truly giving people I have met over the years. People who have given a lot more with a lot less money. So during this giving season, what does it mean to be generous?

How Generous Are You

Here’s a few thoughts about generosity:

It’s not an amount. a 15 thousand dollar gift might not be as generous as a 15 dollar one.  Remember the story of the widow’s mite?

It’s not about money. Sometimes your most generous gift is one of time and friendship. I’m at a stage in life that I really don’t need more stuff. But I can always use the company and counsel of a good friend.

It’s a choice. Much like any human virtue, a generous heart is cultivated and not born.  Left to human nature,  we all would be greedy and selfish.

It’s a responsibility. I believe that the Bible means business when it says that to whom much is given, much is required. I was reminded of that passage of Scripture by a friend who has given much of what he had away and has such a gracious heart.

It’s a blessing. I have never, ever regretted being generous. Every time I give, I always receive more than the value of the gift back, and not from a “giving so I can receive, name-it-and-claim-it theology,” perspective. I’m blessed in ways I could never orchestrate or predict.

Did I miss anything? What else would you add?

  • Joseph

    Amen! It is sad to me that some people will hold on to things so tight, they will truly never know the joy of given of it away.

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  • The quote sums it up well. "The more you give, the more you have."

    When I think of generosity I also think of accumulation. Being generous helps us avoid the trappings that accumulation (a.k.a. hoarding) can bring. The hoarding of our possessions and our time.

    Generosity reminds us that it's not about us and what we can get but what we can contribute that matters in the end. I'm thankful for all the people who give.

    • I like the idea of hoarding our time. I feel another post coming on that!

  • Beautiful blog post, thank you for the simple reminder.

  • juliekolb

    I don't think you missed anything..I think you nailed it…For myself, scores of verses came to mind when it comes to generosity…For the believer, it is the condition of your heart and also where your faith lies…Interesting that when it comes to money, God actually says "test me" or "try me"..Malachi 3:10-12….

    A verse that sums it up for me is this..

    2 Corinthians 9:6-7 "6. Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. 7. Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver."

  • I'm frequently disappointed by celebrity charity events. My response to their donation total is most often, "Really? Didn't so-and-so make $50 million for their last 3 films?"

    That being said I'm not as generous as I want to be, but I never regret giving.

    Thank you for the reminder.

  • Bryan Chalker

    Awesome lessons to pass on to our kids, as well. They see us give – and they see our heart when we do it. Nice reminders, thanks. Sometimes we need a little a little wind to blow us in the right direction.

  • Candace

    It’s not about need for validation.
    Authentic generous people are warm, open, centered, balanced…not needy, not expecting anything in return, including validation.

  • Our generosity can also be connected to where we really believe the provision is coming from. Our capacity to give of ourselves, whatever the resource, is also connected to which kingdom we're focused on building. Tim Keller from Redeemer Presbyterian Church in NYC has suggested that there are only two kingdoms, God's, which is eternal and ours which is passing away. Which is worth investing in?
    Our generosity can also be influenced by the irrevocable awareness of acute need… how can we not respond generously to those who suffer if we have the ability and capacity to so whether it be with our finances or our talents or both. I've wresteled with that a little bit myself here: Thanks for starting the conversation Mauilio.

  • Rodney Eason

    Thank you, again, Maurilio.
    Our family is right here, right now.
    Last year, my wife had to hide her tithing from me because I could think of other things we "needed."

    A lot of changes have occurred since then. Andy Stanley had a good sermon series this past summer on "How to Be Rich." A lot of what Andy talks about relates to generosity and how generosity can lead to untold riches. It helped us start a 10-10-80 budget.

    One thing he said that sticks every time I think about a new iPad or road bike for myself… : "There are two types of people in the world, those who pay interest and those who make interest."

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