Term 2 - Generosity
In the lead up to Christmas, people often think about helping others. When it is all too tempting to think about the excitement of the gifts to come, we like to encourage the children to put themselves in another person’s shoes. ‘Generosity’ is stronger in meaning than simply giving to someone. Each of us has something to offer. We can give our money and our time to charity, be a friend to someone who is sick or lonely, do volunteer work, or be a peacemaker, teacher or minister. We may give unselfishly of our time to our friends or family. We may choose a service-oriented occupation, or we may just do our everyday jobs with integrity and respect for others.
We sometimes talk about a ‘generosity of spirit’. A person who is generous of spirit is generally considered a magnanimous person; high-minded, fair, noble, big and worthy. That is where it begins. It’s more than the actions a person does. It is a state of being. People who are generous spirits tend to extend to others what they want for themselves. A person of generous spirit takes complete responsibility for their lives. They do not blame others or circumstances for their problems. They step up and do the right thing even when it may be fraught with fear and conflict. If a person is aware and conscious of their own feelings and needs, they are then more able to empathise with other’s feelings and needs.
It would seem that the more we give to others, the poorer we become, but just the opposite is true! Service to others brings meaning and fulfilment to our lives in a way that wealth, power, possessions and self-centred pursuits can never match. As Jesus said, “For if you give, you will get! Your gift will return to you in full and overflowing measure, pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, and running over. Whatever measure you use to give -- large or small -- will be used to measure what is given back to you." ( Luke 6:38)
A familiar Bible story to consider is the Good Samaritan. In this story, Jesus described a man who went the extra mile. He not only helped the injured man at the roadside, but gave his time, money and compassion by taking him to an inn and ensuring his every need was met. He showed real generosity of spirit.
“But a Samaritan, as he travelled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, took him to an inn and took care of him.”(Luke 10:33-34)