The Art of Practicing Generosity

The code of generosity my family lives by.

For as long as I can remember, my family has valued and practiced generosity and hospitality. It was part of our family “code” to be caring, and our family always lived by these generosity rules:

• We were the “first responders” when we heard of an important need. We were quick to ask as a family, “What can we do to help?”
• If you were new to our neighborhood, our family dropped by to say a warm welcome.
• If you or a family member were out in your yard, we would walk over to talk with you.
• If you were new to our church, our family would have you over for a meal with a few other friends to help you get acquainted.
• If we knew of a family who was hurting, our family loved to provide meals to help.

As followers of Jesus, our family lived by this “code” of generosity. As followers of Jesus we learned about reaching out to our world, those who are hurting, and lonely. Some of our generosity may have been the culture of the day, but it should be a part of the heart of all followers of Jesus to care, serve, and bless others.

People of faith have a great opportunity these days to demonstrate the love of God and the essence of the gospel through acts of kindness and generosity. Acts of service, caring, and kindness become a bridge to open hearts to see how good God really is.

Generosity is an indescribable gift in today’s chaotic world.

Second Corinthians 9:10-15 tells us, “Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through you your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.

“This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of the Lord’s people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God.

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“Because of the service by which you have proved yourselves others will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else.

“And in their prayers for you their hearts will go out to you, because of the surpassing grace God has given you. Thanks be to God for this indescribable gift.”

Generosity meets needs people have, and it also causes an overflow of many expressions of thanks to God. When you are generous, people’s hearts and prayers will go out to you, because of the surpassing grace God has given you to be generous. Generosity is an indescribable gift in today’s chaotic world! You are blessed to be a blessing, and when you bless others, you feel a definite sense of blessing in your own life as well.

I want to encourage you to consider how you can become an agent of indescribable generosity in today’s chaotic world. Here are four truths about generosity that can change your life, and the lives of people around you:

Every Good Gift in Our Lives Has Come From God’s Goodness to Us

Our resources are a blessing from God. God shows us and calls us to a life of generosity.

Have you been stewarding your money in a way so that funds are available to bless others?

God has also given all of us time and talents. Where can you use your gifts and abilities, and make time to serve others?

We Need to Train Our Hearts to Be Generous

We need to be careful not to let our head keep our heart from responding to the needs of others. Sometimes we talk ourselves out of the opportunity because we think we are too busy to help others in need.

We need to guard against an attitude of selfishness, and a scarcity mentality. God blesses us to be a blessing, not to hoard everything for ourselves.

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Learning to Be Generous Is Learning to Be Obedient and Responsive to God’s Leading in Our Lives

God’s Spirit calls out to our spirit to give sacrificially and be a generous people. He will prompt your heart when he has an opportunity for you to change someone’s life through being generous with what he has given you. God could change lives without us if he wanted to, but he chooses to use us and our generosity to be part of his great purposes on this earth, to touch hearts and lives for Jesus.

When We Are Generous, Many Are Blessed

Generosity blesses the giver, receiver and the observer. Your life will literally be changed when you are generous. You will experience an inner sense of fulfillment when you use what God has given you to help others.

Those we give to are encouraged and filled with hope.

And our generosity influences everyone around us when they see it. They will be stirred to make generosity a part of their lives as well.

And of course, God is pleased with us when we bless others.

Ultimately, our generosity is an overflow of gratitude for all the blessings God has given unto us. Ultimately, generosity is an act of love from God, through us, to people who need to experience God’s love and provision in greater ways.

First John 3:16–18 tells us, “This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.”

Let me ask you today, how can you make generosity a greater part of your life? Look around. Opportunities are everywhere. Find a need and fill it.