We all have people in our lives that we identify as generous. And it is not simply because they give away significant amounts of money, though they may. As Mark 12:41-44 shows us, those who give away numerically little may actually be those who are the most generous. In God’s economy, amount sacrificed always supersedes amount given.
For the generous person, their 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? And what are some generosity identifiers we should consider for our own lives? Here are six:
- 1. They’re satisfied. Except for the amount they give away. They always want to give more. They want to be more generous with what they have. But they are 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. They say “yes” more than they say “no.” Generous people have the amazing ability to say “yes.” Do they have more money than everyone else? No. Do they have more time than everyone else? No. Do they have more possessions 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. They ask, “What can I do for you?” And mean it. Generous people do not wait for opportunities of generosity to come to them. They seek out ways in which they can bless others. They know that some of the most needy people will never approach another individual for assistance. Therefore, the generous person takes the initiative.
- 4. They don’t talk about “their” possessions. Because they do not see themselves as owners of those possessions. They know that any possession they hold is God’s, and it is their challenge to manage it well for God’s purposes. Their possessions are just tools to be used for generosity. They truly believe that God did not design us to be hoarders, but conduits through which his generosity flows.
- 5. There is a sense of levity about them. 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 the Joneses, and they live life open-handed. They experience a freedom that most do not.
- 6. They’re energetic. Giving energizes them. God gave them their resources for His purpose, and they are aligned with it. It is an adventurous place to be.
We were designed for generosity. When individuals align themselves with that design, it becomes obvious. They are easily identified. Their generosity has infected their entire being. Of course, this leaves us with an obvious question:
What identifies us?
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Written by Art Rainer, member of the Summit Stewardship and Generosity Ministry Leadership Team.