“If it is giving, give generously.” Romans 12:7
“Generosity is not giving me that which I need more than you do, but it is giving me that which you need more than I do.” Khalil Gibran
Khalil Gibran was an author and a poet back in the 1930’s; in fact, he was the third bestselling poet of all time, Shakespeare being number one. I love his quote above because it makes you think. Some people have the natural personality trait to give to those they feel are in need. The super-rich give back usually quite a bit of money. In a Christian’s life, giving should be a large part of their life. The Christian first should tithe the 10% of their income to support the local church and the ministry they are doing in the community. This is not generosity it’s obedience. You are generous when you go beyond that 10% and it hurts you in some way. As Gibran stats in the above quote, it’s giving that which you need more than I do. A person can have a generous personality trait, but never have incredible wealth. I have a good friend that is a personal trainer, just starting out in the business. He is struggling to get his business started, but knows this business is where God is leading him. He decided to train a couple of friends he knows that are struggling financially, but could use his services, so he decided to start training them free. The next thing he knows is he gets two paying clients and this is where it all begins. He gave of his time and expertise to help his friends, and now he is getting more clients that can pay him. The personality trait of giving is being generous in all ways. What’s interesting is that all the other personality traits help each other to work toward each other. Therefore, to encourage you might be generous with your time for someone. There are three ways that we can be generous with our lives.
The first way of course is always with our finances. As I stated above tithing is obedience, generosity is going beyond the tithe. Giving until it hurts is generosity in its purest form. I have seen people in my church give until it hurts expecting God to give them a big blessing for their effort. He always comes through for them. I’m not saying we need to do this for selfish reasons, but for selfless reasons. Give expectantly, but more than that give without regard to worry, it’s a faith step.
The next way we can give is what I mentioned before, giving of our time. Time is a precious commodity that needs to be carefully planned. One of my pastors is fond of saying that if you can give up 15 minutes of your time to be inconvenienced for someone, you can be that person’s angel. It’s so true, if we take time out of our busy schedule to look around we will see the need. When it hurts is when it’s not expected or planned, that is generosity with your time.
The final way we can be generous and the most important is with our very lives. I always like to say that living is loving. When we love people and give them our unconditional godly love that comes from the heart of Christ, we can make someone’s walk easier. Always look for those that are alone or seem to be outcasts; those are the people that can use a leg up when you give agape love. Striking up a friendship with someone that has a small amount of friends can give them encouragement to know that there is more to life than just the same thing repeatedly.
When you are generous with your finances, time, and your very life, you can find peace and joy like never before. Peace because you know you are living life to it’s fullest and joy because you are impacting others’ lives in a most positive way. When you lay your head down at night, you know that you did right by God in living a generous life.
© [David Howard], [David’s Body Temple], 2011-2015.