Hope Reflected

Encouragement and Hope from God's Word

generosity Archive

Tuesday

20

November 2018

Hope Reflected | The Gift of Giving

Written by , Posted in Christian Living, Published Work

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"The gift of giving is a blessing." | See more at hopereflected.com

The Gift of Giving

3 examples of generosity from which we can learn

Last weekend, Wes and I were waiting in line for the car wash, and when the vehicle in front of us finished, the driver announced, “I got it started for you!” As we pulled ahead, we realized that the driver had paid for our car wash. What an awesome, unexpected blessing!

Later in the week, our neighbours invited us over for tea and cake, to celebrate their 49th wedding anniversary. We were so touched that they wanted to share their special day with us, and that they wanted to give to us.

The gift of giving is a blessing, regardless of the type of giving. Some people give of their time, while others give of their finances, and some give of their talents. Regardless of how you give, giving is a gift.

There are so many examples of the gift of giving that we can learn from in the Bible. Whether Old Testament or New, we can all learn from the examples of generosity in the Bible.

Consider the parable of the Good Samaritan in Luke 10. He is a primary example that the gift of giving doesn’t have to be about money. Beyond financial giving, the Good Samaritan saved a life, a life that others went out of their way to avoid. He gave his time, he gave of himself, and he even risked his own reputation to give to another. “But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him.” (Luke 10:33) Even the act of compassion for someone else is an example of the gift of giving. Compassion! Showing sympathy and a caring heart toward another is one way of giving to someone. We can all be challenged to give the gift of compassion.

We can learn from the example of the poor widow in Mark 12. The poor widow taught us that you don’t have to have a lot in order to give. “For all they did cast in of their abundance; but she of her want did cast in all that she had, even all her living.” (Mark 12:44) The widow gave everything she had, literally. She only had two mites, and she gave them. Perhaps you already give regularly to a cause or through tithing at church. We can all learn from the poor widow what true giving really is. Giving a lot isn’t a prerequisite to the gift of giving. Even when you think you don’t have anything worth giving, you do. Give in faith.

And what about Zachhaeus, the money collector! Yes, that’s right. We learn from Zacchaeus that the gift of giving is something that can be learned. The man who was famous for taking money had an incredible turnaround when he came to know Christ. Zacchaeus, who started out as a tax collector, turned around in faith and turned into a giver! “Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have taken any thing from any man by false accusation, I restore him fourfold.” (Luke 19:8) Perhaps your track record isn’t representative of the gift of giving. Anyone can change; you just have to purpose in your heart. As C.S. Lewis once said, “You can’t go back and change the beginning, but you can start where you are and change the ending.”

The gift of giving doesn’t have to be overly elaborate. Sometimes the simple and quiet gift of giving has the biggest blessing of all.

Originally published as “The Gift of Giving.” Minto Express, Independent Plus, Arthur Enterprise-News, Mount Forest Confederate. September 27, 2018: 6. Print. Web.

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Monday

19

December 2016

Encouragement | Giving | Luke 6:38

Written by , Posted in Christian Living, Encouragement

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give luke 6:38 encouragement

“Give, and it shall be given unto you.” Luke 6:38

As we head into the season of giving, it’s important to remember the true meaning of Christmas: God sent His Son to die on the cross so that we would have eternal life.

It’s not the gift or how much we are able to give that matters; but rather how much love and the sincerity of our heart that we put into giving.

Proverbs 11:24-25 tells us, “One person gives freely, yet gains even more; another withholds unduly, but comes to poverty. A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed.”

Ultimately, anything that we’ve been blessed with on this earth is a gift from God. This is an important thing to keep in mind when you consider how you’ll give this Christmas.

“Give, and it shall be given unto you.” Luke 6:38

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Monday

26

January 2015

Hope, She Wrote: 5 Characteristics of Generous People

Written by , Posted in Christian Living, Published Work, Uncategorized

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hoperobertson_giving_quote

It was Charles Spurgeon who said, “giving is true loving”. Throughout the year, we as a society are inundated with ads all about buying “stuff”, gift giving, and finding “the perfect present”. Whether a holiday, birthday, or anniversary, giving isn’t just something that should be reserved for special occasions; true generosity is something that we should practice 365 days a year.

Did you know that people who are generous and who give freely are actually happier? According to a 2006 study by the National Institutes of Health, people who give activate the brain regions related to pleasure, reward, and trust.[1] If you’re looking to get in touch with your generous side, here are five characteristics of generous people and thoughtful givers:

  1. Generous people would rather give than receive. To some, this is a foreign concept, but it’s so true! Those of a generous spirit are more comfortable – and actually get more pleasure – giving than they do being on the receiving end of a gift or compliment. It may not come naturally, but the more you get in the practice of giving, the more you’ll understand how good it truly feels.
  2. Generous people plan ahead. Translation: Don’t procrastinate! Planning ahead is a marked characteristic of the thoughtful giver. They don’t leave things until the last minute, running out to the store on Christmas Eve or the night before a birthday. Instead, they’ve got others in mind the whole year through, keeping an eye open for items that will be of interest or suitable for the recipient’s personality or needs.
  3. Generous people care about personal connections. Generous people know the importance of building lasting relationships and finding common ground with others. Look at the friends who’ve been in your life the longest. Chances are, they’re some of the most selfless, caring, generous people in your world. There’s a reason for that.
  4. Generous people count their blessings. All of the generous people I know have at least one character trait in common: An attitude of gratitude. Recognizing all of the blessings in your own life can encourage you to be a blessing to others, as well. When you have a spirit of gratitude, it’s only natural to want to give thanks, and to share that gratitude with others.
  5. Generous people give more than just material gifts. Every person is put on this Earth for a purpose, and generous people recognize and appreciate the value in others. Generous people give more than just material “things”; they encourage, promote, and reassure others.

True generosity has nothing to do with how much money you have, how much you volunteer, or how much you give – true generosity has everything to do with what’s in your heart. Mother Teresa said it well: “It is not how much we give, but how much love we put into giving.”

 

[1] Moll, Jorge, et all. (Sept 7, 2006). Human fronto-mesolimbic networks guide decisions about charitable donation. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, Vol. 103 (no. 42). Retrieved from http://www.pnas.org/content/103/42/15623.full

 

Originally published as “5 Characteristics of Generous People”. Minto Express 17 December 2014: 5. Print.
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