By Carol Round – “You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us, your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God”— 2 Corinthians 9:11 (NIV).
Generosity is the spirit and action of freely and frequently giving to others (Dictionary.com). The word generosity can also refer to an overall spirit of kindness.
During this time of the year, meaning the time between Thanksgiving and Christmas, generosity increases. Some are motivated to be more generous during these weeks because of the festive nature of this season.
Created in 2012, a global generosity movement began to encourage individuals to give radically. It’s a day to encourage people to do good. A simple idea, “Giving Tuesday” isn’t just about giving monetarily even though charities encourage donations to help meet their end-of-the-year needs.
Giving Tuesday: More than Money
Giving Tuesday is a matter of the heart. Whether it’s making someone smile, helping out a neighbor or a stranger in need, or showing up for those we care about, this day reminds us to be generous with our gifts, money, and time. It’s a reminder we all have something to contribute to building a better world for everyone.
In 2 Corinthians 9, the Apostle Paul explains why Christians willingly and cheerfully should give money, time, or energy to meet the needs of others. His challenge is “What’s the primary motivation of our gift-giving?”
According to Paul, true Christians should be motivated by their willingness to give, which enables them to participate in God’s work. It’s not just about feeding people, but also about advancing God’s righteousness on earth and increasing gratitude toward Him.
Living a Generous Life
Living a generous life shouldn’t happen just one day of the year. It should be a part of our lifestyle, a life filled with Christ. We should give generously of ourselves every day.
What might that look like? Simple things include the following:
- Holding the door open for someone.
- Paying it forward when someone generously pays for your meal or drink in a drive-by fast-food or coffee shop.
- Returning your shopping cart to the parking lot corral.
- Sharing a smile with a stranger.
- Striking up a conversation with the clerk ringing up your purchases and then telling him or her to have a “blessed” day.
- Praying for someone who appears homeless or downcast.
- Finding a way to compliment a stranger on their appearance or actions. In other words, take notice of others instead of being wrapped up in yourself or your cell phone.
Letting Go of Self
Mother Teresa once said, “God gives us things to share; God doesn’t give us things to hold.”
I’ve been nudged by the Holy Spirit many times to give things away—even items of sentimental value. It was worth it to see the smile on the other person’s face. But I benefited as well, knowing I had obeyed my Heavenly Father.
Instead of holding onto things, choose to live generously and make a difference in the lives of others. Pray, asking God how He wants you to be generous each day. Surrender everything to God because everything we have comes from Him.
I always love hearing from my readers. Please feel free to e-mail me at [email protected] with your thoughts or visit my blog for more inspiration at www.carolaround.com. If you need a speaker or workshop leader, you can contact me at the above e-mail address or through my website. I’d be delighted to hear from you.
Photo credit: philanthropy.iupui.edu