The world can feel like an unbelievably selfish place. Some kids want the world, and they want it now. Adults too. If I’m not careful, I find myself in a constant state of working to satisfy the seemingly bottomless needs and wants of my family instead of being a generous person. Boy was I surprised when I heard about a totally different kind of kid. This fourth-grader’s crazy-generous act will make you want to stand up and cheer.
Imagine you’re 9 years old again, and more than anything else in the world, you want a new bike. You can’t wait to ride a shiny, glorious two-wheeler down your street, and call it your very own. It takes you two years, but you work hard, save, and sacrifice to earn it.
At last, the day you dreamed of arrives—you can’t stop smiling because that super cool bike is now yours! So, what are you going to do with your most prized possession? You’re going to give it away to someone who needs it more than you, right?
Wait, what? No way! What 9-year-old kid would be generous, kind, and mature enough to give away something so life-altering as a bike? I mean it’s not just a little fun—it’s wheelies, a ride to a friend’s house, and a ticket to becoming a future X-Games champ.
Xavier Lopez-Stanfield doesn’t think like the rest of us. He’s an incredibly generous person who, at 9 years old, decided to give his hard-earned bike to a boy whose family could not afford Christmas gifts.
Through the LifeKids program in Albany, NY, Xavier spent two years collecting enough “points,” which he earned by reading the Bible and sharing his faith, to earn that bike. Then, he inspired us all by deciding to give the bike to a boy whose family is struggling financially. Apparently all that Bible went to Xavier’s head and heart.
Does God Want Us to be Generous?
Xavier’s beautiful gesture exemplifies the phrase “irrational generosity.” Hearing about what he did makes me stop and consider what that level of generosity would look like for an adult. It would be equal to saving up for two years to buy a car, and then putting someone else’s needs before your own, and giving it away. Can I show that level of generosity?
God wants us to be generous, just as He was with us. When we show generosity toward any of His people, we’re giving directly to Him.
Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the Lᴏʀᴅ, and he will repay him for his deed. Proverbs 19:17 ESV
God showed us His generous heart when He gave His only Son to take away our sin. He gave us the thing that was most precious to Him so that we could receive the greatest gift of forgiveness and eternal life.
Generosity Doesn’t Always = Money
We need to remember money isn’t the only way to be generous. We can give in other ways. We can share our time, support, or other resources to help meet someone’s need. Volunteer for an organization with a mission that speaks to your heart. Reach out to a family who’s going through something. Devote yourself to praying for the needs of others. If a fourth-grader like Xavier can do something so wonderful and selfless, what might I be able to do?
A truly generous heart seeks no recognition or reward. But when we give generously, God’s love shines through us. And when you feel God’s love move through you, well, there’s nothing more joyful or rewarding.
One gives freely, yet grows all the richer; another withholds what he should give, and only suffers want. Whoever brings blessing will be enriched, and one who waters will himself be watered. Proverbs 11:24-25 ESV
3 Steps to Becoming More Generous
1. Look. Open your eyes to the opportunities around you to be generous. Is there a family who’s struggling or a cause that tugs on your heart? View those situations as an opportunity to help.
2. Pray. Pray that God will guide you to be generous beyond what you could possibly imagine.
3. Give. Give freely without expectation. It’s that simple.