There are some things that generous people aren’t telling you.
But hang around them long enough and you start to notice their secrets.
I have had the fortunate opportunity, through working at a church and seminary, to be around some really generous people. Some had significant wealth. Some did not. All lived with open hands.
If you had a good conversation over a cup of coffee with some of these people, you might notice some commonalities, ones that they don’t always divulge around others. I did.
Here are seven secrets of generous people:
- Feelings didn’t cause them to start giving. Conviction did. At some point, they noticed that their spending priorities were messed up. And they knew that God wanted something different out of them. So they started giving. They did this, not because it felt good but because they wanted to be obedient. Eventually, their obedience turned into their passion.
- For those who are now generous with much, they were first generous with little. I have heard this several times. Generosity was not determined by their level of wealth. It was present before they become wealthy. And it would still be present if they lost everything. Whether they have much or little with which to be generous, they give.
- They have generosity goals. They were intentional in their giving. They set generosity goals that stretched them, and caused them to sacrifice other things. They knew that if they did not, they ran the risk of, at year’s end, discovering they gave less than they desired.
- They keep track of their generosity. Because they had goals, they watch their giving to ensure that they remain on track.
- They are not just generous with money. Money was just one resource with which they were generous. They found other ways to be generous as well. If they had season tickets to watch a sports team, they would give away many games to those who could not afford to go to such an event. They helped provide baby goods for single, pregnant mothers. The list could go on. Their generosity invaded all areas of their life, not just their bank account.
- They pray for God to give them opportunities to be generous. They actively sought out God for His guidance. They approached Him with open hands and said, “Here is what we have, what do you want us to do with it?’
- They are content with their possessions but not their generosity. Generous people know that the more they give away, the more content they become. And yet, they are discontent, but not with their possessions. They always want to give more. Generosity has become their passion, not their stuff.
God designed us, not to be hoarders, but conduits through which His generosity flows. Generous people live this out. Their mind is consumed with Kingdom advancement, not personal advancement.