The cashier smiled as he started to total up my purchases and said, “The people who just left said to give the next person their remaining Kohl’s Cash, so you get an extra $2.36 off.” He was so pleased to give me this gift and I didn’t mind the couple bucks going back in my wallet. It wasn’t the amount of money, it was the gesture that mattered.
Generosity always sends a message: Grace. You may not be deserving, you may not have earned the little extra, but I’m giving it to you anyway.
Being generous isn’t just about giving away money or “stuff.” It’s a character trait. It is an overall description of those who live it out daily. I can’t think of too many things I’d rather hear from someone describing me than, “She’s really generous.”
The opposite of generous isn’t greedy, it’s self-focused. It’s when you matter more than the people you’re with or serving.
My husband helped a 93-year-old man (total stranger) in the men’s room at a restaurant recently. He assisted him getting in and out of the stall with his walker and then had a lengthy conversation on the way (it was slow-going) back to the tables. My husband described it as a truly meaningful moment and encounter. He was moved and impressed by the man’s humility and kindness as well as some life experiences he shared. If my husband had been in a hurry to get back to the table or felt annoyed by having to help, he would have missed a precious conversation. He also would have missed the chance to bless and blessed.
When I’m speaking to an audience, I try to be generous. I want to take plenty of time to learn about the group and its needs before I begin preparing. I take a pulse often and change things up if it seems that the faces staring back at me aren’t gaining anything. I engage and compliment people who interact.
Whether in your everyday life, in business or ministry, generosity is not optional if you want to do it well and with the biggest impact. I encourage you to seek out ways to be generous as you start and go through each day. The opportunities will be plentiful and the rewards even more.
If you have thoughts and stories about generous moments, please share in a comment below. If you’d like to chat with me about speaking for your group, you can fill out the contact form on my website. I promise to be generous with my time.