“Beware! Guard against every kind of greed. Life is not measured by how much you own” – Jesus of Nazareth.
One of the mistakes that people often make when considering the subject of generosity is to assume that if at one point in their life that performed a generous act, then they are automatically considered a generous person. This is simply not true. Generosity is not a static trait. We are either growing in our generosity or declining. In other words, we are constantly becoming either more generous or more selfish. There is no standing the middle or on past deeds. One of the subtlest ways that Satan undermines our faith is to get us to think that we are generous because of our past and to therefore falsely believe that we need not think on the subject any further. In reality, generosity is something that constantly needs to be tended to, cultivated, and grown. Like the muscles in our body, if left unused it will atrophy away. When this happens selfishness takes over and captures our heart. This will inevitably lead to a mass infiltration of self-destructive sins that will tear apart our lives and our relationships.
So how do we respond? What are we to do so that generosity will be a chief characteristic of who we are and not selfishness? One way is to consider the benefits of generosity and develop small habits and attitudes that help you to cultivate a generous spirit. Here are some ideas.
- Embrace gratitude. Make a list of the things in your life for which you are grateful. Keep updating the list and share it with others. Remind yourself of how blessed you are.
- Give first. When you receive your next paycheck, make your first expense an act of giving.
- Divert one specific expense or activity. For a set period of time (try 29 days), divert one specific expense to a charity of your choosing.
- Fund a cause based on your passions.
- Spend time with people in need.
- Spend time with a generous person.
- Reach out to a lonely person. Mother Theresa once said that loneliness is the greatest kind of poverty.
- Live a more minimalist life.
- Commit to doing one generous act per day.
- Identify causes that you believe in (like God’s mission here at Alpine) and make commitments to give on a regular basis. Make giving part of your budget.
- Give a little more than you think you can. We always underestimate what we have and what we can do without. Stretch yourselves and do without so that others can be blessed.
- Give a stranger a genuine compliment or encouragement.
- Offer mentorship.
- Donate Unused Items.
- Give a random gift to someone.
- Volunteer an hour a week.
- Let Someone go in front of you.
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