There is never enough…until you start sharing. Then there is abundance.
I want to be generous. I want to model for my children a practice of giving. This has become especially clear to me now that we’ve had our post-baby budget conversation.
Our budget is tight. We’re going to be a single income family because we value having a parent raise their child. We are fortunate enough that I have a job that covers our expenses, if only just barely. I’ll be honest, I’m quite intimidated. Our chosen lifestyle will requires some sacrifices, and sacrifices are uncomfortable.
Even so. I will not be a victim of my own discomfort.
So what if money is tight? Is God not able to provide for us? Do we not have the support of an entire community?
Generosity is not about quantity or abundance. Giving comes from a mindset that is not attached to material things. Sharing comes from a mentality that is secure and not afraid. I am not really attached to my things or my money or my resources, I don’t look at them as being intrinsically “mine” so I am easily able to part with them. I am not afraid of life, not afraid of worst-case scenarios, not afraid of being abandoned and powerless, therefore I am more comfortable taking risks like giving when there is not much to give.
When I say I want to be generous, one thing I mean is being able to give money to people and organizations, but that is only one thing I mean. Generosity also includes giving food, giving time, giving objects. Above that, generosity is a mindset that values people over things, relationship over material wealth. Generosity says my locus of security is in my God and my community, not in my wealth and possessions. Ultimately, I think I will live in greater security and peace.
Now clearly, generosity should be paired with wisdom and discretion. I wouldn’t want to give everything to everyone. But sometimes I will give to those who cannot give back.
This is possible and safe and sustainable if I am regularly giving to my community who reciprocate by giving back to me.
Like most things, Generosity is best when practiced in community. In community, where all things are common, the individual is freer to have loose attachments to things and to share them because there is a surer confidence that someone will give to them when they are in need.
Our opportunity is to create communities where people are generous with each other and together trust God to provide from them all. Our opportunity is to be people whose true wealth is in relationships and can easily let go of material things. We can be a people who are not afraid of loss or poor-ness because we value caring for our neighbor more than overcoming our own discomfort.
I’m taking this opportunity because I want this kind of world for my child. Hope to see you on that journey with me…