Are You a Generous Person? — Morning Devotions - Hope 103.2

Are You a Generous Person? — Morning Devotions

Many people are generous while some are not at all. Generosity derives its power from the very nature of God, who loves a generous heart.

By Chris WittsWednesday 9 Nov 2022Morning Devotions with Chris WittsFaithReading Time: 1 minute

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We live in a society of me and mine—what matters most to me, and how it affects me. But there is something inside each of us that needs to reach out to somebody else. And when we read Winston Churchill’s famous quote, it kind of makes sense: “You make a living by what you get. You make a life by what you give.”

In 1995 a news report in USA stunned readers about an elderly woman named Oseola McCarty. She had donated $150,000 to the University of Southern Mississippi for their scholarship fund. This 87-year-old woman had been forced to drop out of school in the sixth grade to care for her family.

For more than 60 years she made a living washing clothes for hire in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, saving as much as she could from her meagre pay. She wanted others to have the opportunity for the education she never received, so she gave away the money she had saved for so many years.

In a separate story a year later in 1996, the Los Angeles Times (15/12/96) reported that David Sun and John Tu sold 80% of their company, Kingston Technology Corp, the world’s largest manufacturer of computer memory products, for $1.5 billion dollars. The two men decided to share their windfall with their employees. The average bonus payment their workers received was just over $75,000. David Sun said, “To share our success with everybody is the most joy we can have.”

People can be generous—and stingy

Late last year The Border Mail in Albury-Woodonga published the brief story of a homeless couple, Paul and his pregnant fiancée Jane. More than 12 residents offered their help to find a home, opening their doors and hearts, and money, to this young couple who needed help. This is just one example of generosity, as Australians are among the most generous people in the world.

John Bunyan, who wrote Pilgrim’s Progress, said, “You have not loved today until you have done something for someone who can never repay you”. There’s tremendous value in this—it’s someone who does things for others without expecting something in return.

Of course some are not very generous at all. John Paul Getty, one of America’s richest men, used to have a pay phone in his home for visitors to use. The Hollywood actor Cary Grant owned a holiday home. When his guests left, he would go to his garage and count the logs of wood to see how many they used on the log fire.

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Sometimes we can be stingy for no good reason. Unlike Bill Gates. As a young married man, he and his wife were expecting their first child, and Bill didn’t want to burden the child with his wealth. So he made the goal to give away 95% of his wealth before he dies. As far as I know he’s still doing that.

Better to give than to receive

The Bible does have a lot to say about generosity—e.g. Isaiah 32:8: “Generous people plan to do what is generous and they stand firm in their generosity”.

Generosity is more than being kind, big-hearted, or even charitable. It is an attribute that derives its power from the very nature of God. God’s generosity must spill over into our lives and flow through every act, thought, and desire. A generous God gave to us his most precious gift. We must give generously back to him to fulfil his purposes in the world.

Acts 20:35 reminds us that “it is more blessed to give than to receive”. Let’s remember something of God’s generosity to us, and look for opportunities to help the needs of others. Be willing to reach out to strangers. God loves a generous heart, because it’s a heart like his own. Not seeking a reward—just for the joy of giving, making someone else feel good.

Proverbs 11:24-25 expresses it beautifully: ”Sometimes you can become rich by being generous or poor by being greedy. Generosity will be rewarded: Give a cup of water, and you will receive a cup of water in return”.

“I expect to pass through this world but once; any good thing therefore that I can do, or any kindness that I can show to any fellow creature, let me do it now; let me not defer or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again.” (Quoted from a Quaker missionary)


Lord, teach me to be generous,
to serve you as you deserve,
to give and not to count the cost,
to fight and not to heed the wounds,
to toil and not to seek for rest,
to labour and not to look for any reward,
save that of knowing that I do your holy will.