A wise man once said, "One person gives freely, yet gains even more; another withholds unduly, but comes to poverty" (Proverbs 11:24). Simply put, the more you give, the more you get, the more you keep, the less you have. Years later, Jesus would say something similar. "Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you" (Luke 6:38).
The cynic might scoff, asking how this works. Let's look at this first from a worldly perspective. When we give freely, without reservation or expectation of return, we might gain a sense of personal fulfillment and satisfaction, which can improve our overall well-being. We may also receive blessings and benefits from others, either directly or indirectly. When we withhold what we have, whether resources, time, or attention, we may end up with a sense of spiritual poverty or a lack of fulfillment and purpose.
It becomes simpler when we look at it from a spiritual perspective. Nobody in the universe is as generous as God, and he will not be outdone in generosity. So, when he sees us being generous, he is generous in turn! Also, when we are generous, we show that we trust HIM rather than our wealth, and he rewards that too. As Paul wrote to Timothy: "Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who RICHLY provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share" (1 Timothy 6:17-18).
Notice Paul using the word "command" twice in this instruction, suggesting that generosity might not be optional. However, let us "choose" to be generous, considering Paul's words to the church in Corinth. "Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver" (2 Corinthians 9:7). But how do we become cheerful givers if we don't like giving?
Here are a few tips. One, start with a grateful heart. Generosity often begins with gratitude. When we recognize the blessings we have received, we are more likely to want to share them with others. Take time each day to reflect on the things you are thankful for, and allow that gratitude to motivate your giving.
Two, give regularly. Generosity is a habit that can be developed over time. Make giving a regular part of your life, whether that means giving financially to a charity or church, volunteering your time to help others, or simply offering a kind word or gesture to those around you.
Three, give sacrificially. Sometimes, being generous means giving more than we think we can afford. When we give sacrificially, we demonstrate our trust in God's provision and our willingness to put others' needs ahead of our own.
Four, practice giving anonymously. Giving anonymously can be a powerful way to cultivate generosity, allowing us to give without seeking recognition or reward. Consider giving to a charity or individual in need without revealing your identity, and allow the act of giving to be its own reward.
Five, surround yourself with generous people. Generosity is contagious. Surrounding yourself with others who prioritize giving and serving can help you develop and maintain a spirit of generosity in your own life.
Enough said. God bless you.