Generosity: It’s Not Always About the Money

“There is one who scatters, yet increases more; And there is one who withholds more than is right, But it leads to poverty. The generous soul will be made rich, And he who waters will also be watered.”

By nature, I’ll be honest and say, I’m not a generous person. I’m not necessarily greedy. I just don’t think about being generous. I’m a wretched soul, aren’t I? My husband is generous. I know our flesh is greedy, but I think some people are better at giving than others. In fact, Jesus says if wicked people can give good gifts to their children, imagine what God, a loving Father, can give. So that proves that some people–even though they don’t know God can be generous.

I was sitting at the table the other evening, just me and my 7 year old son, Myles. We were eating spaghetti, his favorite and I tested him. I love doing this. I’m always interested in what he’s thinking and how his mind works. I have to catch him off guard or he’ll clam up or pop off with something humorous and sarcastic. His handle on sarcasm amazes me. Really. It does.

“Myles, if you had a million dollars what would you do with it?”

I was expecting a string of DS and Wii games along with a dinosaur or two in the mix. He didn’t miss a beat. He glanced up, orange-stained spaghetti mustache, a noodle stuck to his chin and he said, “I’d give half to God and keep half.”

Can I just say, I was shocked. And touched. If I had a million dollars, I swear, I’d have given it to him right then. His eyes held innocence. But I had to wonder. “Where did you come up with that answer?” Had it been something he heard from Kids’ Church? I’ve seen his generosity before, but you never know.

“I just had it in my brain. Sounded like the right thing to do.” And then he was back to swallowing spaghetti whole. Why don’t kids chew their spaghetti? 

“It sounded like the right thing to do.”

My prayer, especially this past year, has been to be a generous person. Generous with what I have materially, financially, and spiritually. It’s one reason why I do a Wednesday devotional or teaching. If I have something to give, I should give it. 

We should be generous not because we know we’ll get something back, but because God loves generosity.
The first reward for generosity is a rich soul. I know when God asks me to give something whether it’s my time, my money, my words, or a possession, He’s going to bless my heart first. A lesson will be taught and I can count on Him to do to me what I did to my own son…

Test me

God always goes a step above and rewards with some kind of physical blessing. Maybe a week after I’ve done something generous someone mails me a card out of the blue of encouragement, or a Starbucks gift card is in my box anonymously at work. It’s happened. 
Or a check we weren’t expecting is in our mailbox. The amount we needed and then some. Or maybe another glimpse in my dream becomes a reality. 
I want to be a generous person. I want my children to have that legacy and be generous. 

Generosity isn’t always easy. Especially when it comes to sowing time into someone’s life or a ministry. In fact, sometimes it’s easier to write a check for a cause or mission and hoard your precious minutes. I’m not saying don’t manage your time wisely. God honors that for sure. But on occasion, He’s been known to interrupt my time for something more important. What I choose to do with that opportunity is mine alone.

Do you find it hard to be generous? Do you struggle with being generous with your time? 

17 thoughts on “Generosity: It’s Not Always About the Money

  1. Both Jason and I are generous, but I'll say it bothers me that Anna Marie doesn't seem to be. If I'd asked her the million-dollar question, she WOULD have asked for video games!

    I know it isn't something I can drill into her, but something that has to come from within. I just pray for opportunities to model it for her, and for God to do the rest.

  2. Can I just say how much I LOVE his answer??? It is NOT typical! I used to teach 5th grade and we'd do this thing called special person of the week, where a kid would bring in items to share and then the other students would ask questions. A popular question as this one. What would you do with a million dollars. And it always sorta made me sad that almost every single kid would talk about all the games and cars they'd buy.

  3. What a beautiful answer. So difficult to teach this to today's children. We have to do so by example. Words don't work as well as kids seeing with their own eyes their role models being generous with their time and money.

  4. Time is harder for me. No wait, money can be hard too sometimes. Wow, guess I struggle with both of these.
    ~ Wendy

  5. Such a great, great post! Generosity with my time is definitely the hardest for me. In fact, if I'm really honest, I think sometimes I use generosity with money/stuff to assuage my guilt over not giving more of my time.

    Love this: "We should be generous not because we know we'll get something back, but because God loves generosity."

    Thanks for making me think!

  6. Being generous with my time is hard! Loved this post and your son's answer.

  7. I wouldn't consider myself generous in general, but compared to my hubby, I'm definitely the more generous of the two of us. I really need to give more generously of my time to others, that's where I severely lack.

  8. Struck a nerve on this one, Jess! Generosity is a bit difficult for me – okay, a lot difficult sometimes. I struggle with practicing financial balance. You know, paying the bills, giving generously to the Lord's work, and trying to save for the future. Time is another biggy! Must remember that both money and time are God's anyway – and He can be trusted with both! Thanks for this challenging post today!

  9. Your son's answer was beautiful.

    He has that perfect generous heart.

  10. I'd say Myles has got things pretty much figured out. We would do well to follow suit.

  11. What a wonderful moment–and a sweet little boy. I am not particularly generous with expensive gifts and stuff, but I have a HUGE testimony of tithing. We believe if we pay God first, we will always have enough for ourselves.

  12. What a lovely answer from Myles. I wouldn't have said that at age 7, or even 37. I think I'll have to write a blog on this. Not enough room in a response for what I want to say.

  13. Hey everyone! Thanks for all your comments today. I tell ya I thought when I asked him the question it would benefit me since Christmas is coming up. lol

    I'm so glad it blessed you. I know it blessed me.

    Time is toughy and I see some of you think the same thing. Hoping we'll be sensitive when God interrupts "our" time. 🙂

  14. Awesome post! Some time back, we went through a financial hiccup and God came through, using our church family. Now, the roles have been flipped a bit and we've been able to help others out. And sometimes this has been a give by faith first, then God provides later. One day as I was thinking about this–God's economy. Why would He give to us to give the money (or whatever) to someone else. It seems to me He does this to keep us interdependent and connected and to remind us it's all His anyway.

    And when we remember God truly is in control and has promised to provide for us, it's easier to give because it takes away the fears that lead to stockpiling.

  15. Oh man, that is beautiful! I think my kiddo would say she'd buy a millions dollars worth of toys. LOL

    I am very generous with money–only because I feel it's God's. But time… I must feel it's all MINE so I am extremely STINGY.
    I feel bad about that. 🙁
    I should be more generous with it.

  16. This is beautiful. And boy, don't I know I'm not that generous… especially when it comes to TIME. I need to get better about that.

  17. I am more selfish with my time than anything. I want my time to myself. I know it is wrong and if I am giving someone my time, it is because I knew I should NOT because I wanted to.


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