One thing that I truly admire about my parents is that they are not stingy. My mother and father are two of the most generous people I know.
However, when I look around, generosity is something that is not common. We want to hold on to things. We figure, "I worked hard for this, so I won't just give it away," or "I worked hard for this, so why don't you go work hard, too, and maybe you won't be in need."
"Someone else will take care of it" is another common mindset. We pass off the opportunity to extend generosity because we feel like someone will eventually step up and do it.
From the time I was young, I remember my parents being willing to give whatever resources they had to help someone in need. I saw my parents give clothes, cars, jobs, money, pots, pans, you name it!
One might say, "well, your parents must have been wealthy." My parents have seen the best of times and the worst of times. I was present through most of those times.
One thing remained constant: their heart for generosity.
I have learned from my parents and from the few truly generous people I've known, generosity has the power to make you a more joyful person.
Here are three reasons why:
- Being stingy is stressful. According to a psychologist by the name of Liz Dunn, a professor at the University of British Columbia, stinginess, as a result of being less generous, is known to raise the level of stress hormones in your body. More stress, less joy.
- Generosity allows for shared fulfillment. There is nothing like being able to join in on celebrating an achievement. When we are generous, that joy is heightened because we know that our generosity had direct impact on that achievement or on the life of the achiever.
- Generosity yields kingdom rewards. We are reminded in Philippians 2:5 that Jesus Christ emptied himself by generously giving himself totally for the sake of others. As a result, his reward transcends material possessions that are temporary in nature. Our generosity results in supernatural blessings reserved for those that follow the footsteps of Jesus.
Apart from being generous, my parents are also two of the most joyous people I know. My bet is that this is a result of a life lived selflessly and generously.
Over the last two weeks, we've seen the generosity of individuals who took part in our Christmas Offering at Relevant. Thank you to everyone that participated. May God richly repay you in His own way for your commitment to His cause.