Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Generous Living

  • My daughter participated in Relay for Life a few weeks ago. This event is put on by the American Cancer Society to raise funds for cancer research.
  • Last week, my church had a yardsale to raise money for youth to go on a mission trip.
  • A couple of months ago a friend participated in St. Baldricks - an event during which people will shave their heads to raise money for cancer research.
  • Every time I go to Starbucks, they give me the opportunity to buy a mosquito net for $10 for give a few dollars for some cause.
Every week I'm given the opportunity to be generous - to give a few dollars to people or a cause that is worthy of financial support. There are countless ones that don't deserve your money or time - it is up to the donor to do his/her due diligence to ensure that the cause is worthy. But for the ones that are worthy, how are you giving to them. More importantly, is "generous living" part of your nature?

A few years ago Oprah interview some poeple who came into sudden wealth. Some were lottery winners and others were actors. All said they were mobbed by family and friends who wanted/needed money. The bottom line that everyone agreed with is that sudden wealth magnifies your innate personality: if you are stingy, you will be even more stingy with your money; if you are innately generous, you will be even more generous with your new money.

Children learn more by watching than by listening to their parents. If they see their elders being generous, I want to believe that these youngsters will grow up being generous (that is a hope of mine, I don't know that there is any documentation to prove that). I've seen that lived out many, many times in individual situations - youth will be naturally generous because that is what they were taught by their parents.

All of us can be examples of daily generosity to individuals and causes. All of us need the practice of being more generous. All of us should be examples of generosity to the next generation. Generosity is not just about money, but also about your time, your skills, your expertise, your wisdom - its about being generous with YOU!

What are you doing to live out generosity? Do you take advantage of those opportunities that literally come across your path or do you ignore them? Do you research the causes that are requesting money or do you ignore them or give them a token gift instead of really digging?

Then, when you are living out your generosity, do you tell others about the neat cause or purpose? Make sure your motivation is pure - don't tell others to get them to applaud you, tell others because you want them to be aware of how they can help, too.

Make generosity part of your DNA. Make it so that when other people talk about you, the word "generous" is used countless times. Make "a generous person" the words that should be on your tombstone.

Why do this?
  • If you are a follower of Christ, you'll be generous because God was and is generous and you are commanded to be generous (you have absolutely no other option).
  • If you are not a follower of Christ, do it because there is no downside to being generous. When is the last time you heard someone get criticized for being "too generous?"
Give. Be generous in all you do, every day, so that people will automatically presume you will be wisely generous.

Lead On!

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