Genuine Generosity: Behind the Giving
Kindness is displayed in many ways. One of those ways is through generosity. Though we often think of money when we describe someone as being generous, it’s not so much what is being given that matters, but rather the heart behind the giving. A person with a generous heart will liberally share their time, talents, abilities, possessions, and ideas. They will even be generous in holding onto hope, or in giving encouragement, or in bestowing comfort. Being ready and free to impart something good to others is their desire, and they are attentive to the opportunities to do so.
We see this trait in Mama Addie in our story Miracle at Redimere House. Mettie, the newest and most rebellious orphan Addie has encountered, has destroyed the peaceful atmosphere in the house with her cruel behavior toward the other girls and by stealing food. Yet Addie persists in her kind ways, generously giving time, love, forgiveness, and holding onto the unwavering hope that Mettie will succumb and allow Addie to love her.
Unfortunately, generosity is not always appreciated or reciprocated. The generous heart already knows this, and yet they continue because, when generosity is sincere, it does not look for or expect returns.
Beth runs the Giving Tree program at my church. Every Christmas, she collects the clothing items purchased by local people for the needy children in the community. She checks each purchase to make sure every child is receiving the correct size and type of clothing and boots they requested. Inevitably, someone will be missing something. And because some buyers do not bring their purchases to the church until the last minute, she finds herself driving and shopping for hours the night before the distribution. Not fun when it’s dark, cold, and snowing! I don’t think she even considers the option of just giving that child a bit less than requested. She literally exhausts herself as she freely gives her time, money, and love just so each child can receive what they requested. And here’s the kicker: though she is thanked by most parents who come to pick up these clothing gifts for their children, she is also the recipient of some very harsh, angry words from ungrateful parents who may not have received the exact color or brand name they wanted.
No, generosity is not always appreciated or reciprocated. Yet, every year Beth returns, ready and – not just willing – but desiring to impart something good to these families. Her reward? Experiencing God’s love and favor. A generous heart cannot be restrained. I think we need more Beths in the world!
The Ultimate Display of Generosity
There is One who is the supreme example of generosity.
“But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of His mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by His grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life.” Titus 3:4-7
Both our fictitious character Addie and my friend Beth know this Savior. He is the driving force behind what they do because they have each experienced the kindness and generosity of God’s love themselves. And He is still in the business of generosity today! Look what He says here. I think this must have been written for parents!
“But if any of you needs wisdom, you should ask God for it. He is generous to everyone and will give you wisdom without criticizing you.” James 1:5
I’ve prayed for wisdom thousands of times because thousands of times I’ve had no idea what to do! And He has never criticized but has always been faithful.
Our character curriculum was developed to assist you in building a strong foundation of godly character into your children. It is a joy for the Emeth staff to watch students as they are introduced to new traits each season and learn to practice them throughout the 12 week period. Follow these links to view our curriculum and listen to our original current and past stories.
For Miracle at Redimere House, click HERE. For more stories and curricula, click HERE.