We all have people in our lives that we identify as generous. It is not simply because they give away significant amounts of money, though, they may. As the story of the widow’s gift shows us, those who give away numerically small amounts may actually be the most generous. In God’s economy, the amount sacrificed always supersedes the amount given.
For the generous person, a posture of generosity affects all areas of their life, not just their bank account. So, what are some ways we can spot such a person? What are some characteristics of a generous person?
1. Generous people tend to be satisfied people—except for one thing: the amount they give away. They always want to give more. They want to be generous with what they have. They are typically not driven by the desire to acquire more possessions. They may have a nice house, and they may have a nice car, but those things do not drive them. They would be just as content without them.
2. Generous people say “yes” more than they say “no.” Do they have more money than everyone else? No, but they may manage money, time, and possessions in a way that allows them to say, “Yes,” more often. And, they almost always prioritize people over each one of those areas.
3. Generous people do not wait for opportunities of generosity to come to them. They ask, “Is there anything I can do for you?” and they mean it. They seek ways in which they can bless others. They know that some of the neediest people will never approach another individual for assistance. Therefore, generosity often involves taking the initiative.
4. Because they do not think of themselves as owners, they don’t talk about “their” possessions. They know that any possessions they hold are God’s, and it is their responsibility to manage them well for God’s purposes. Their possessions are just tools to be used for generosity. They truly believe God did not design us to be hoarders, but conduits through which His generosity flows.
5. Finally, there is a sense of levity and energy with those who give. Their lack of attachment to possessions develops lightheartedness in them. They are not burdened by the drive to get and keep more stuff. They are not concerned about what others have that they do not, and they live life open-handedly. They experience a freedom and an adventure that most do not.
When individuals align themselves with a posture of generosity, it becomes obvious. They are easily identifiable because their generosity has infected their entire being and their entire life.
This is an excerpt from The Money Challenge: 30 Days of Discovering God’s Design for You and Your Money.