A Life of Generosity
To ask is to receive.
I believe and trust in the scripture passage from the Gospel of Matthew, “Ask and it will be given to you… For everyone who asks, receives…” (Matthew 7:7-8, NABRE)
In faith I have asked. And I have received a lot of blessings and graces in my life, from the small amounts I need daily to be able to go to school to the large amount I need to have my mother operated, and more. All my needs are being well taken care of by God’s hands.
To give is to receive.
I have received a lot and the next best thing to do is to give. Over the years, I have observed a cycle of giving and receiving in my life and those of the people around me. Whenever I give, I end up receiving, often times more than what I have given, which is a testimony to Verse 38 of Chapter 6 of the Gospel of Luke, “Give and you shall receive.”
In an earlier blog post, I gave emphasis on the importance and rewards of tithing or giving 10% of your earnings to the Church or group that nourishes you spiritually.
For me, this 10% is just the start of living a life of generosity.
But how should one give?
I would like to offer four simple reminders in giving or sharing your material (e.g. money, food, clothes, etc.) and even non-material possessions (e.g. your time, talent, smile, etc.).
First: Give with a generous heart. (Deuteronomy 15:10, NABRE)In other words, one must learn how to give unsparingly. I must say it is difficult at first to be generous, especially if you have worked hard to acquire or get what you own. Giving will hurt because you are losing what seems to be a part of you. You may have hesitations at first, but learn to let go of the desire to keep things for yourself.
Second: Give for God’s praise and not for man’s. In the Gospel of Matthew6:1-4, Jesus teaches his disciples about almsgiving. He exhorts them not to perform righteous works in front of people who will give them praise, but rather to give alms without awaiting human praises and rewards.
Third: Give with a cheerful and willing disposition. We must give without regrets, sadness or coercion, “for God loves a cheerful giver.” (2 Corinthians 9:7, NABRE) It is always a good feeling when you have given something to those who need it.
Fourth: Give according to your means. The apostle Paul reminds us that one should give according to what one has or what one can afford. (1 Corinthians 16:1-2, NABRE) One cannot give what he or she does not have.
If you are not yet used to sharing or giving, you may start by giving yourself a mantra, like, “To give is to receive,” or “Giving is good for my heart,” etc.
Or better yet, keep in mind what Jesus himself has spoken, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” (Acts 20:35, NABRE)
Marj Baynosa is a chemical engineer and educator, who loves reading and writing in her spare time, especially on finance, faith, and other seemingly mundane things.