It’s Monday and that means it’s time for the latest post in the A Believer’s Character series. This week I’m talking about a character trait that begins with the letter G. My post is about how to be generous. Do you want generous children? Let’s see what the Bible says about generosity and then talk about how to teach children to be generous.
What is generosity?
Simply put, generosity is giving kindly and bountifully without expecting anything in return.
What does the Bible say about generosity?
God is generous, and so as His children we are to be generous as well. As the early church forms in the years after Christ’s death and resurrection, it is clear that the members have generous hearts. We learn of their generosity as we read scriptures that tell how believers joyfully shared their food and happily opened their homes to others. First here…
All the believers were together and had everything in common. They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved. (Acts 2:44-47)
And then here…
All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of their possessions was their own, but they shared everything they had. With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And God’s grace was so powerfully at work in them all that there were no needy persons among them. For from time to time those who owned land or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales 35 and put it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to anyone who had need. (Acts 4:32-35)
Why were the disciples, the earliest church leaders, so generous? Because they had seen Christ’s generosity first hand time and time again. He fed the hungry. He healed the sick. He served as the divine Teacher. And ultimately, Christ’s generosity resulted in Him giving His own life on an old rugged cross so that we might live.
Christ personally showed each of the disciples how to be generous. Today, through His Word and through the leading of the Holy Spirit, Christ shows us how to be generous. Because of this, our Savior expects us to be generous too. He wants us to bless others and in return He will bless us.
A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed. (Proverbs 11:25)
Teaching my daughters to be generous?
If Christ expects me to be generous, then that means He wants me to teach my children how to be generous. We want our daughters to know how to be generous, so this is what we’re teaching them:
- They can be generous even if they don’t have material wealth. God doesn’t tell us to give when we reach a certain amount of money. He expects us to give in other ways such as too. I’m teaching the girlies that one way they can show generosity is through the sharing of their time and their gifts.
- Their generosity should be fueled by proper motivation. If the girlies are giving for the sole purpose gaining, that’s not the right motivation. God sees their hearts and knows why they give. He wants them to be generous because they love others and not because they expect something in return. We’re teaching them to give for the right reasons.
- Their generosity should be guided by God. We believe God has a purpose in generosity, so we encourage the girlies to pray so they can discover who God wants them to bless. We encourage them to seek God’s guidance so they’ll be in the right place at the right time, prepared to do His will. Recently during our prayer time we’ve begun asking God to give us all opportunities to be generous. It should come as no surprise to learn that God has always answered that prayer.
Are you in need of a more generous attitude to model before your children? Are your children in need of a jolt of generosity? I hope this prayer will bless and encourage you.
A prayer for generosity
Dear Lord, thank you for the many blessings You continue to lavish on me. Thank you being so generous to a sinner like me. Thank you for the ultimate gift of generosity, Your Son’s death on the cross at Calvary. Help me to remember that though You give to bless me, You also give to me so that I might be generous to others. Help me not to hold onto my blessings and gifts with a clenched fist, but rather give me a generous open hand that I may share with others. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.
© 2014, Andrea Thorpe. All rights reserved.