Recently, I wrote about “giving yourself.” In this season of giving, your inbox is probably flooded with asks to give, since 70% of all charitable giving happens in the month of December. I want to encourage you to perhaps think about giving a little bit differently.
Last week, I listened to a leadership podcast by Carey Nieuwhof where Brad Formsma was sharing his passion to inspire generosity. He talked about 7 ways we can be generous:
Generous with thoughts — about our neighbors AND ourselves. Would you talk to others the way you silently talk to yourself?
Generous with words — encouragement; he who refreshes another, refreshes himself. This makes altruism obsolete. Giving feels good.
Generous with money — obvious; it’s not the amount, it’s the heart. Sacrificial giving is the deepest type; it’s not the size.
Generous with influence — sharing helpful connections. We all have influence and relationships that can be shared to help others advance the common good.
Generous with time — our most valuable commodity. We all have the same amount in a day. How we give it to others matters. Cherish given time from others; we don’t have any guarantees on how many days we will walk this earth.
Generous with attention — undivided. Have you been with someone who listened deeply and seemed to have nowhere else to be? No rush. In an overly distracted world with notifications for everything, this is increasingly challenging.
Generous with stuff — sharing what we’ve been blessed with. I’m not talking about your used throwaways. I’m talking about sharing your car, your vacation home, your extra points, your costly seats. Let’s teach our kids that our material items are to bless others too.
I can’t help but think about all the parents we serve who sacrificially give by opening their very lives to children who need a safe and loving home. That generosity is often trampled and spat on by the ones they seek to love. But we keep urging the giving and reminding that the why behind the gift matters, though it’s sometimes forgotten — hope, healing hearts and loving homes.
I always take time to reflect at the end of the year on how things went and where can I improve in the new year. My faith causes me to reflect on God’s faithfulness as a reminder of His future provision. I hope you will do the same. And as you do, pick one above that you can give more of. I’d love to hear about it.
Personally, I’m going to work on being generous with my attention, which will require me cutting out some unnecessary distractions that take not give to my soul.
As you think about how you can give abundantly, I want to ask you to give on behalf of hurting children… will you make a generous gift to help them heal from trauma?
I know we hear “trauma” a lot. But let me unpack for a moment – to heal from neglect, suffering, loneliness, coping mechanisms born out of loss.
Make this time a little merrier for one who is hurting. Your help unwraps the oft-hidden treasure covered by pain and allows for beauty, strength, perseverance and family bonds to emerge.
May hope, peace and joy be yours during this Christmas season as we remember the One who set his majesty aside and was born in a cradle in the dirt to give his unconventional life for us.