When I hear the word generosity, I tend to think about money–and that’s a problem. Why? Because giving money is only one way to help people in need. But it’s possible to be generous, even if you’re facing challenges that make giving money difficult. So let’s find out what it means to be a generous person. But first, let’s define generosity itself.
What is Generosity?
In the months leading up to Jesus’ ministry, rumors had begun to spread about the coming Savior of the world. People had lots of opinions about what He’d be like, so they went to Jesus’ cousin for answers.
Many wanted to know how they could get ready for the Savior’s arrival. Maybe they expected to get some verses to memorize or learn a new way to pray. But instead, John told them this:
… “Anyone who has two shirts should share with the one who has none, and anyone who has food should do the same.” Luke 3:11 NIV
John removes money from the generosity equation, telling us that anyone can be a generous person because everyone has something to share. John also seems to be telling us that generosity is the best way to reflect the heart of Jesus.
Generosity is sharing what you have to help someone else. So a generous person is someone who shares their stuff with others.
See how simple this definition is? It includes our money, but also everything else we have.
3 Ways to Be a Generous Person
So, how can you become a generous person? It’s simple, but it’s not always easy. Here are a few ways to be a generous person.
1. Ask yourself, “What do I need?”
God wants us to enjoy the things we have. But we don’t own our stuff. God does, and He calls us to share what we have with others. So ask yourself, “What do I really need?” It’s an uncomfortable question for sure, but it’s also freeing. That’s because a generous person lives with the simple trust that God will meet their needs each day.
2. Ask yourself, “What do I have to share?”
Maybe you have plenty of spare time or a skill you’ve developed. You might have knowledge about a hobby or passion for a cause. Or maybe you have money you don’t need that could bless others. No matter what it is, if you have something, you can probably find a way to share it.
3. Ask yourself, “What does my community need?”
The people around you have needs you can meet. Maybe your neighbor is experiencing loss, and simply being generous with your words and presence could make a difference. Or your local food bank might need volunteers or donations. Simply researching the needs in your community could inspire generous creativity.
You Can be a Generous Person
Being generous isn’t easy, but it is meaningful. Why? Because Jesus was generous, and He invites each of us to live like Him. So today, ask yourself what you have to share with others. It might not feel like much to you, but it could make a life-changing difference to someone in need.
You don’t need massive wealth and influence to be a generous person. You can start by identifying what you need, what you have to share, and what your community needs. You have what it takes to be a generous person. Now it’s time to take a step forward.