Posted in Personal Development

Living Life Generously

heap of different nominal per dollars

How generous are you with your time, talent and money? As we head into the week before Easter, Holy Week, it’s good to reflect on living life generously as we prepare to give honor to the One who was so generous with us. Jesus is our role model of living life generously.

This week, I’ve been watching Matthew Kelly’s Best Lent Ever video series on his recent book The Generosity Habit. (It’s a great book, by the way with over 100 ways to be generous. I see another 100 day challenge coming after Easter.) It got me thinking about my own generosity. Am I generous? I think I am generous, but am I really? How about you? I’ve heard that being extremely generous will make you happier than most people.

Time

Being generous with your time means you give yourself to others. You spend time being with other people even when you have other things you could be doing. Do you volunteer for any organizations? Do you help out at your church? Jesus was all about building relationships and spending time with others. His time here on earth was short but He loved others generously with his time.

You could be generous with your time next week by attending church services during Holy Week. Where I live we have a Community Stations of the Cross where our community comes together to pray the steps of Jesus during His walk with the Cross.

Talent

Do you have any talents? Is there something you can do that you could share with or teach others how to do? Do you know how to cook really well? Share those recipes and baking secrets with your children and grandchildren, friends and neighbors. Invite them over and teach them. Are you good at organization or cleaning? Teach others the gift of knowing how to sew or embroider. Give away what you know, share your talents generously!

Money

Are you extremely generous with your money? Do you give regularly to your church? Do you give to any charities? How much is required and how much is considered extremely generous? In the Bible, in the book of Malachi 3:10, it says: “Bring all the tithe into the storehouse”. A tithe is one tenth of all you possess. It is the gift or offering that you are giving back to God in appreciation of all that He has given you. So then, giving more than one tenth, is being generous. God says that if we just give one tenth, He will bless us so much that we won’t be able to even measure it. He is more than generous to us.

In a recent conversation with some other church secretaries, we were talking about how beautiful the Catholic churches in our area are and when they were built. Some of the churches were built in the mid 1800’s and they are exquisite. Beautiful stained glass windows, domed ceilings and doorways, wooden altars and floors, marble columns and brass fixtures. Our ancestors spared no expense when building their houses of worship. They sacrificed a lot to construct these buildings. My church holds around 350 people. But when it was built, there may have been only a handful of families. They were extremely generous and were considering the generations that would come after them. Does our generation do that? Do we consider others who will come after us when giving our resources?

It’s About Giving

I am a giver by nature, and that can be a little dangerous, because by being generous, I also need to be responsible and discerning. I can’t just give everything away to whomever asks because then I can become a target for those who are less than honest.

How generous are you? Have you given to anything that was actually a sacrifice for you? When you give, does it hurt your wallet a little? Does it impose on your other commitments? Can you step outside your comfort zone? Do the things you spend your time and talent on glorify God?

You might think, ‘that is too hard’. I’m barely making it as it is. But I will tell you a little secret. When you give your tenth first off of everything you make and learn to live on the rest, you will be amazed at how God will then bless you with more. More than you can ever imagine. You just have to try it and trust.

Yes, you must take care of your family and your basic needs. But America is a rich nation, we’ve become a greedy and materialistic people. We justify why we need big TVs and $1000 phones and computers. Our phones take up our time and after COVID, we’ve isolated ourselves from spending time with others. Some of us have homes that could house 2 or more families. We have become very comfortable. And if this isn’t you and you are struggling just to make ends meet, take a step back and try to figure out why. God will bless you when you give generously of your time, talent and money.

Take Action

Generosity is a habit. It has to be practiced and practiced without fear and in trust. We can’t count the cost. Get out your calendar or planner. Schedule some generosity in your day, every day. Start small. Find ways to be more generous to those you love and people you don’t even know. Don’t do it for acknowledgement or a pat on the back, but just begin. Don’t let the right hand know what the left hand is doing, but do it in secret. Make someone’s day or week or year!

My prayer is that we all start living life generously. Wouldn’t that give glory to our Father in heaven? This is a week to think about what generosity looks like to you. Would you give up your life for the lives of others? –My friends, that is the ultimate price of generosity, because that’s exactly what Jesus did for us and it’s extremely generous, don’t you think?

Thanks for following along. Be generous and share this with someone who could use a blessing. Until next week, God bless. –Barb