Generosity Gatherings -- What We Learned

In the past few weeks, the Stewardship Committee hosted several gatherings to explore the topic of generosity. We learned many things about how generosity grows in us and what effect it has on the giver.

Some of us are taught from an early age by our parents to be generous and to give at church and Sunday school. Others of us didn’t experience that guidance, but learned about generosity through lessons at church or by seeing others who practiced generosity.

Generosity not only helps the recipient, it also helps the giver. We learned that

  • Making a commitment realigns our relationship with money. By putting the needs of others at the top of our regular responsibilities (first fruits giving), we begin to break our addiction to money.
  • Generous people are healthier. Nicholas Kristoff in an interview about his newest book (A Path Appears: Transforming Lives, Creating Opportunity) said the health markers of people who give and who volunteer are much better than those who don’t. Health markers are such things as blood pressure, signs of diabetes, mental health.
  • Many givers who practice tithing report that they have more riches than they did before they practiced it. We think this relates to a different attitude toward money, and that helps us distinguish between wants and needs.
  • What is the strongest example of generosity in the Bible? Many people would say the story of the widow giving her mites. But Pastor Rick Warren says it’s John 3:16 -- “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son . . .”