“….remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ ” – Paul, the Apostle
On this day 17 of #LAST70DAYSOF2013, I want us to discuss generosity as a lifestyle for success in 2014. One of the things that amazes me about all the philanthropists like Warren Buffett, Bill Gates, Nelson Mandela, George Soros, Howard Hughes and the rest too many to mention is how come they never run out of resources. Meanwhile, you may say that these guys are not Christian and so should not be a reference point in an article like this that has a Christian inclination. Well, the quote that opens this article does not specify that being generous should be the prerogative of believers only, neither are the blessings that come with being generous active only when it is observed by a Christian. As a matter of fact, you may be aware of other religious groups whom core belief system entails a life dedicated to generosity.
It will not make any sense to think that this article is out of point if you have not in any way been a person of generosity. Because, the heart of generosity is a heart that has been touched by God as this is God’s kind of heart in real sense. Remember, it was recorded that God allows His goodness to be extended to all irrespective of race, tribe, tongue and creed. So, I’d rather dare to say that being generous is being God-like, even when it is done by people we consider not to have the Christian faith. It takes a heart to give but not just an ordinary heart, it is that which has been touched by love and the compassion to reach out to those who do not have.
You know why the names I started with will continue to be mentioned and why they will never go down in resources? Because being generous does not take away from you; it rather adds to you. That was why the Lord Jesus, before His ascension, admonished that “it is more blessed to give than to receive” and through Paul reminded men to adopt the lifestyle of generosity. Some of us who are prosperity-phobia will now think that this is one of those gospels of giving gimmicks. If you are one of such you are missing the point here. Firstly, you won’t be able to experience the blessing in being generous because you do not appreciate it and it is a fact that what you do not appreciate will depreciate in your life. Secondly, it is a wrong mindset and assumption to think that being generous is only with MONEY or FINANCES. Very wrong! Being generous goes beyond donating money. Therefore, do not have money to give so you cannot be generous. It is a thing of the heart to be generous, not a special grace upon the lives of selected few. You have to understand that is what you can do if you decide to. Being generous demands everything from you – your talents, skills, knowledge, love, compassion, wisdom, time, and any other thing that God had gifted your life with. In fact, I consider sharing the #LAST70DAYSOF2013 series with you as being generous in one way with the much that God has given me as insights. So you see? There are many ways to be generous. For example, there is someone in your neighbourhood who needs to mow his or lane but does not have a young person to help because he or she is old with age and cannot pull the mover. There is someone around you who needs to learn to drive in order to get a driving job to sustain his family when you have perfect driving skills form several years of driving experience. There is someone who has been finding it difficult to understand calculus and algebra but you are there, never had below A+ in a Mathematics class before yet you have never considered a tutorial class for such.
I can go on and on and on, but to bring you into the picture, I will stop the list and give you the room to be part of this join by thinking of where you fall into this piece. You can be generous by teaching someone that skill of music you have, and if not, you can give them money to go to a music school since you are aware that music is their passion. So the problem we have is not that we do not have what to give but we lack understanding about giving and how to use what we have been given to reach others in our life. If not for anything, God has been generous enough to give you that potential or make your business prosperous. But all those not to make you proud, or hoard them to yourself but with an open heart and open hands to share with your generation.
Why am I sharing this with you and how does that affect this series as we journey toward the end of this year and prepare to launch into 2014? You may have achieved little in 2013 simply because you never were generous to anyone at any time. Therefore, there was little or nothing in your account of goodwill towards men to withdraw from, and when your account is low, it has a ripple effect on the totality of your life –relationships, business, career, goals, etc. You never can tell how far your generosity can go in changing the life of someone who may end up becoming the ‘open door’ you have been praying for, even though gain should not be the motive behind generosity. It should flow freely from the heart.
You may want to recall the story of Joseph while in the prison in Egypt. Let us assume that he considered himself not to have anything to offer the two servants of Pharaoh on that very day. Let’s assume he never considered it to be a generous act to even act them ‘my friends, you are looking so gloomy today, is anything wrong?’; let’s assume he never thought that interpretation of dreams was a way to reach out to others and giving them hope even as a prisoner who did not have money in his pocket to pay for their release. Do you think he would have arrived at the throne? No way. You may say the whole situation was orchestrated by God for a purpose, yet, God needed his act of generosity to a man to bring him to his large place. You can never tell, how far a generous act of smiling to someone who woke up with a broken heart or saying hello to someone who longed for a friend can go in changing someone else’s life.
I want to encourage to be generous with every good thing that you have from this moment and the for the rest of your life. And trust God (not my words), you will see a quantum leap in every dimension of your life, especially those areas of your life that you too also need a blessing of generosity from others. This is so because it is natural that a generous man must be blessed. This is one way to win in 2014. To achieve a life of generosity, there are many things to do but let me share these few with you –
1- Consider yourself to have be blessed by God
2- Consider yourself to have been blessed so you can bless others
3- Remember for the rest of your life that generosity is not just a decision (though you need it to start) but a lifestyle
4- Remind yourself daily of the need (not the pressure) to be generous with what you have to someone
5- When you interact with people (you know and strangers more especially) be careful with what you can do or help them with to make life easier for them
6- Remember that it is God giving you opportunities to be blessed when you do a generous act, and not only that you are giving someone a reason to smile, laugh and be happy
7- Pray continually for an opportunity to be generous as an act of being grateful to God, and not for the purpose of showing off your gifts
Prayer: God will open your eyes and your heart to reach out to others in your life and out of your life in 2014, and make you a great blessing in their lives. As that happens, may you become more blessed daily until your blessing appears to all men in Jesus name, Amen.