Setting a Generous Example

Generous; I give what I have to others because I want to and it makes me happy.

2 Corinthians 9:7, “Each one must give as he has decided in his heart…for God loves a cheerful giver.

“It is better to give than receive.”  I could not remember who coined this phrase, but I suspected they were incredibly wise.  After asking Google who first spoke this phrase, my suspicions were confirmed.  Acts 20:35 tells us, “and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”  Jesus all to well knows how costly it is to be generous.  He laid down His life, and all He received in return was us!  Even so, this is further proof of the truth of His words. 

When thinking about how generosity can be shown by God’s people, my mind naturally jumps to financial charity and gift giving.  But that is not what I wanted to focus on with this blog post.  We are well aware of the ways we can give of our money and materials to bless and help others.  But have we ever thought about how generous we are with our respect and compassion?  Most of the time, I fear, we are more focused on how much respect we receive rather than how much we give.  Likewise, we tend to think more about the compassion we experienced instead of what we showed.  If we are going to imitate the generosity of our Savior, we must learn to think more on what we are giving than what we are receiving. 

Even as I write this, I understand this is much easier to say than carry out, but that may be even more reason why we need this.  We will never be perfectly generous like Christ, but with hearts determined to glorify Him, we will become more generous as time goes by.  As we grow and mature in our faith, we begin to be less concerned with ourselves and more concerned with others.  This transition will not take place overnight, but if we are purposeful, we can learn to be generous with Christ-like compassion and respect.

Application:  As with all of these character traits, we want our children to understand them.  Understanding comes through knowledge and experience.  Whenever you have an opportunity to be generous to or in front of your children, take some time to explain to them how you are being generous and why.  It seems strange to pause and “spotlight” our generosity, but remember why you are doing it.  You are not looking to score brownie points with your child, but helping them understand the purpose of generosity.  Be generous this week, and let your children play a part with you.