Develop Increased Generosity
Live life with an attitude of gratitude and generosity and experience the true riches of financial freedom. Spending money to buy cool stuff is fun, but nothing beats the ability to be generous with all that God has blessed us with. Generosity should be practiced immediately, but once you have worked through the prior steps and are FREE from your financial burdens you will find yourself in a place where you can truly be generous and extravagant with your money.
Why Should I be Generous?
Way to go! You have worked hard up until this point to get to where you are. So, why should you help others when you have gotten to where you are by working hard yourself? The answer…you didn’t get to where you are by yourself. Living life only for yourself will never allow you to experience freedom. Living life only for yourself will never allow you to experience true joy. The only way to truly experience freedom and joy is to be generous with all that God has blessed you with.
Generosity has also been proven to make you healthier and happier. Generosity has the benefits of regulating your stress, increasing your joy, and it even helps you become more successful. In studies where people with selfish ambition were contrasted with those who were generous the generous people actually benefited more through mutual generosity than the person who was less cooperative or generous with others. Generosity also lowers your risk of early death and will help your marriage be stronger.
How to be Generous
At this stage you will likely still be doing some savings, which is great! I would suggest that you figure out how much you plan to save in order accomplish your goals. As you draw closer to achieving your goals I recommend increasing your generosity proportionately. Proverbs 13:22 says that “a good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children, but the sinner’s wealth is laid up for the righteous.” Leaving an inheritance is good, but leaving money is not the only inheritance to leave. We also have the ability to leave an inheritance of wisdom, joy, and generosity along with our wealth. Think more along the lines of legacy. How do you want to be remembered? Do you want to be remembered as a financially savvy person or as someone who truly loved God and people?
“Whenever you give to the poor and do acts of kindness, do not blow a trumpet before you [to advertise it], as the hypocrites do [like actors acting out a role] in the synagogues and in the streets, so that they may be honored and recognized and praised by men. I assure you and most solemnly say to you, they [already] have their reward in full. But when you give to the poor and do acts of kindness, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing [give in complete secrecy], so that your charitable acts will be done in secret; and your Father who sees [what is done] in secret will reward you.”
Experiencing the true riches of generosity means that we are not being generous out of selfish ambition for others to see and reward us or think more honorably of us Instead we are to live our lives filled with gratitude and generosity in all that we do. Being generous should also move us past money and also be displayed in our actions. The simple act of giving money is good, but true generosity also requires that we get our hands dirty. When we actually help others by being present and supportive we are blessed as well. Our heart changes when we are actually involved in the lives of people; our compassion, gratitude, generosity, and our joy increase when we chose to engage. People need each other. People need to know love; we were created in love.
A Life of Generosity & Gratitude
Having been freed from the chains of bondage of money allows us to live an extravagant and joyous life. If we go through all the steps to achieve financial freedom, but do not embrace generosity we will never experience true freedom. Being able to be completely free from the bonds of money and the love of money means that we are free to spend, save, and give. We are not overbalanced in any area. Can you imagine how grateful and generous we could all be if we chose to live life in freedom rather than living life the way the world tells us is good? Things would look very different around us.
I encourage you and challenge you to consistently increase your level of generosity. You don’t have to be rich with worldly treasures to be able to be generous and to live a life of gratitude. You can start today and you can continue for a lifetime. If you haven’t started being generous yet, then figure out a way to start. If you are not thankful for what you have right now then what needs to change in your life? Our outlook on life shapes the reality of how we live life. If we are generous and grateful with what we have and seek to be increasingly more so we will be able to enjoy our wealth as we build it.