Growing in Generosity
Generosity, or liberality, is associated with the beatitude, “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy” (Matthew 5:7). Mercy and generosity often go beyond reason. They exemplify the heart of a disciple of Christ.
Generosity combats the sin of greed. Greed is about getting, while generosity is all about giving. In giving, rather than desiring to always “get,” we find true joy and look forward to the generous gift of heaven that, God-willing, awaits us someday.
What is generosity?
To be generous is to be merciful. Generosity, or liberality, is a spirit of giving of one’s money or possessions for proper and worthy charity. The greatest generosity is the generosity of God. He has generously given us life, in His image and likeness, and has given us the gift of Himself, in Christ’s offering on the Cross for our sins. This is the kind of self-giving generosity we all should aspire to.
Living with generosity
Our culture gives us the impression that greed makes us richer. But that couldn’t be any farther from the truth. It is greed that impoverishes us, while generosity sets us free, making us truly happy and “wealthy” in all the right ways. When we are truly generous, we are close to God, who in acts of supreme generosity created us and redeemed us.
3 ideas to help you grow in generosity
- Give of your time to help another. Often, our time can seem like one of our most valuable commodities. Perhaps a relative or friend who is ill could use a visit, or maybe a ministry at church could use a few hours of your volunteering time.
- Be exceptionally generous with your almsgiving. As Dr. Edward Sri puts it, “God blessed each of us with a certain amount of wealth, in part, so that we would justly share it with those who serve us. To neglect tithing, however, is to treat our possessions as if they are our own. It is to become like a steward who steals his master’s wealth and does with it whatever he pleases for himself.”
- Be generous in your family. Is there someone in your family who needs you to be exceptionally generous in your love for them right now? Who closest to you can shower with a liberal dose of generous care, by helping them with a project, chore, etc.? Think of something small you can do for him or her today or this week.
What do the experts say?
“Teach us to give and not to count the cost.” –St. Ignatius of Loyola
“It’s not how much we give but how much love we put into giving.” –Blessed Mother Teresa
“In all things I have shown you that by so toiling one must help the weak, remembering the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, `It is more blessed to give than to receive.'” –Acts 20:35
“In gratitude we are human; in generosity we are divine.” –Donald DeMarco