Children often display the true art of generosity. They put their efforts down on paper and present their masterpiece with a proud grin from ear to ear. They just know the receiver of their gift will squeal with delight and the art work will be displayed for all to see on the refrigerator. They value their efforts and they sincerely believe others should too.
As adults I think we hold a similar pattern in life by putting our hearts into things we are passionate about. But somewhere along the way we convince ourselves that money is tied to value, as if the amount something costs reveals how much worth and delight it will bring to one another.
Does a child’s picture colored with Crayola Crayons hold more value than a thoughtfully written note with Great Value Crayons? There is no comparison. You see it’s not in how much something costs, or what label it displays that impacts generosity, it’s the heart that sits behind the giving of the gift and the need of the receiver on the other end. The gift could be one dollar or one hundred dollars, but the one dollar gift might be a priceless gem in the hands of the receiver who truly needs it.
As you think of giving generously this season, don’t let the lack of money stress you out or cause you to fret over what you can’t do, but think of the things you can do. How can you give generously within your means this season.
Each one must do just as he has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. II Corinthians 9:7(NASB)
Here is a list of 10 ways to give generously without breaking the bank:
1. Listen to a friend in need.
Sometimes a listening ear is the best gift you can give someone.
2. Give the gift of time.
Time is one of the most valuable things we have. Use it wisely.
3. Give the gift of encouragement.
Everyone is dealing with something. Remind them that you care.
4. Write a kind note.
Sit down and write out the note you’ve been meaning to write for a while.
5. Let someone know why they matter to you.
There is no better time of year to express your feelings to a person who has impacted your life.
6. Smile at people in public. It might brighten someone’s day.
This time of year can be difficult. The hustle and bustle makes some people hurried and bitter. Give the gift of a cheerful countenance.
7. Take cookies to a neighbor or co-worker.
By January everyone will be watching the scale and the calories. The time to give sweets is now.
8. If you have money to give, do it.
When God prompts your heart to share your wealth, trust and obey.
9. Cook a meal for a family with a new baby.
It’s hard for mama to keep the family fed when all she is doing is feeding a newborn. Cook a double portion of your family’s favorite meal and share the extra with someone who will truly appreciate a hot dinner that they didn’t have to prepare.
10. Take groceries to a family in need.
Find out if there is a family in your community who could use a little help and fill their pantry. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if God used you to fulfill real needs for someone.
Things don’t really define generosity, nor does a dollar. What really matters is that we allow God to use us to fill needs when He prompts us. Be sensitive, be alert and ask God how you can generously help someone in need this year. Whatever ways you choose to display generosity, above all do it out of a heart of love, compassion and grace. God has given us so much and everything we have belongs to Him. How does He want you to give generously this season?
Share your ideas in the comments below! I would love to hear how you plan to use your resources, time and money to bless others! What would you add to the list of “10 Ways to Give Generously Without Breaking the Bank”? Is there one on the list that stood out to you that you are going to do?
Love & Blessings,