We don’t do it intentionally, but we do it.
We mislabel and falsely recognize acts of giving as generous.
I made a contribution to something recently, and the person responded back by saying thanks for the ‘generous gift’.
While I appreciate the effort to honor my gift, it made me realize that we misunderstand generosity.
Here’s how I think we typically define generous.
The larger the contribution = the more generous the gift.
Travel back in time to Mark 12:41-44 where Jesus is sticking his nose in other people’s business – watching people put money into the temple treasury.
Many rich people put in large amounts.
Was it at this point that Jesus stopped and took the opportunity to teach his disciples about generosity?
Did Jesus point and say, “There. That’s what I’m talking about. That guy just dropped a whole mitt full of money.”
A lady timidly slithers up to the container (as discreetly as possible) and drops in two coins.
At that moment, we recognize Jesus’ jubilance. Jesus has just witnessed generosity in its truest and purest form.
That woman, Jesus says, put in more than the rest. Generosity is not gauged by the number of zeros at the end.
The Generosity of Vegetables
Last week, my family and I traveled back to Lavora to say goodbye to the Christians there. When we left, they gave us the gift of a huge pile of sweet potatoes, bananas, pumpkins, and even a chicken.
What a tremendous act of generosity!
Those items could have been used to feed their family. They could have been used to sell in the market.
But they gave them as a warm gift.
Were Jesus there, I believe he would have commended those Christians for giving out of their poverty.
I left the experience challenged – challenged to grow in the grace of giving.
Has anyone ever given you a ‘small gift’ that you quickly recognized as the most generous gift you’ve received?