Most of us since childhood have been conditioned to be merely consumers of life – focusing simply on what we want. And perhaps there is a season for this, as we can only give what we’ve first been given. But to grow in love and maturity we must also cultivate a spirit of generosity.
For instance, kids are routinely asked what they want for Christmas as this holiday approaches. And while much of this is just a fun way to engage kids in conversation, it also contributes to shaping their mindset – teaching them to focus primarily on getting things for themselves. And it seems this is a mindset many of us take into adulthood as well.
Of course, we’re free to desire and fully receive the many blessings God pours out on us, and to even boldly ask for his grace and favor throughout our life and relationships. At the same time, filling up on what God has graciously done for us should motivate us to offer this same spirit of generosity to others. And maybe this is the hope that parents have for their kids at Christmas as well – to freely bless them so that they will eventually become a blessing to others.
But we must show them the way by embodying this spirit of generosity ourselves. And this requires us to thoughtfully consider the needs of others and how we might creatively bless them with what God has given us. And the point here is to humbly bring them true joy and not merely feed into their selfish desires or our own pride in giving.
To be sure, we help to perpetuate a culture of greediness when we don’t help to foster a spirit of generosity.
In the end, enjoy every gift you’ve been blessed with. And let this motivate you to have a heart of generosity toward others as well.