The eternal struggle of parents when raising their children is balancing the need for happiness and that of generosity. In today’s age this struggle is especially difficult with getting the latest technological device. I will admit, as a child I was one of those torn between selfishness and generosity.
Most of us are familiar with Acts 20:35 ”….it is more blessed to give than receive.” Do we really get that or understand what that means? I absolutely love the holiday season and birthdays to bestow upon those I love presents and they as well. What about the stranger who is begging roadside or the homeless woman who has two children to care for? Do you give them? If you do, do you enjoy giving to them? Or do we run down the list of possible reasons why they “got themselves into that position?” Or, do you jump to conclusions that they are dressed too nice and are too clean to be poor?
In this journey called “life” I have so much more to learn, but there are a few central truths that I think I have grasped — one is the spirit of being generous. I absolutely do not want to be the one who is out to get more and more and demand that I get everything due me. For instance, I recently began reading a book on St Francis of Assisi and his life of poverty and worship. I have been so moved by his ideals, charisma, and love of God that I purchased a necklaced medal the price of which was $45. Looking at the receipt I began to feel guilty, that this was too high a price for God and St Francis of Assisi. With that I returned the item, found a similar more worthy pendent at $1.78 putting the rest aside for charity. A few years ago, Facebook launched a service where you could have your friends and family donate money to charities instead of purchasing you gifts, I did this for my birthday and Christmas. On my way home from this purchase I cam across a beggar on the roadside and gave him $5 and never felt better. But that is another point, the act of generosity is not to be for self-gratification because that only defeats the purpose.
Generosity can also be acts leading to another persons day being a bit brighter. Some note worthy acts can be to pay for another persons coffee or maybe allow that rude driver to pull out in front of me without slamming on the horn.
So, as Easter approaches be more like Jesus and St Francis of Assisi by making a decision to be generous with your time, talents, and financial resources. “Start by doing what’s necessary”; said St Francis of Assisi, “then do what’s possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible.” You will be glad you did.