Friday, December 3, 2010

Books and Abundant Generosity

So it's Friday and time for some books! I'm going to pass on something I wrote for a seasonal booklet. I think I've recommended these here, but not quite this way:

Abundant Generosity

Proverbs 22:9 “A generous man will himself be blessed. . .”

This is a season of giving. For most of us that means extra stress about spending money—often more than we can afford, remembering who all we should give a gift or mail a card to, and so on. Stress, stress, and more stress. Is generosity supposed to be stressful? Is giving supposed to leave us depleted? I doubt it.

This year many books have crossed my path about giving, and two stand out to me. The books are 29 Gifts by Cami Walker and The Power of Half by Kevin and Hannah Salwen. I love these memoirs, because generosity had the most amazing effect in the lives of the giving participants—not the recipients. Through giving the authors are miraculously and tangibly changed—physically, socially, spiritually.

This has really gotten me wondering if we are taught to give for what it does for others or what it really does for us. My focus is shifting from giving because I should or even the needs or desires of others to what I am supposed to learn or gain from the experience. I’m also evaluating how and what I give. I’m trying to be more experiential and less material. The shift is subtle and deep and abundant. And I am blessed.

What are your thoughts on generosity?

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