What does it mean to be generous?
I was recently given a flyer about creating a congregational culture of generosity. As far as I could determine it was primarily about money, engaging the members and caring for the members to grow a larger sense of stewardship and the church budget. I’m not against this, but I think there is more to being a generous person.
The Biblical basis of the program and of our lives is that all comes from God, so in thanks we give back those things we’ve been given.
What is the one thing we all have the most of? TIME
What is generosity of time?
Standing in a checkout lane with a basket full of items and a person behind you holds one or two things in their hand and you quickly step aside to let them go first? A gift of a few minutes.
The driver who stops to let you move into traffic from a side street is generously giving you a moment of their time.
The store clerk who must call assistance and wait for help? What’s happening to her blood pressure? Letting the clerk know you are sorry for her wait, but do not blame her is being generous. Offer a quiet comment? “It’s been a long day?” Or “It’s busy here today.” Or “Are you nearly finished work?”
One day I was shopping when a woman holding an address book said, “a gift for a teacher?” I responded “I rather have an ornament or something to eat.” We chatted for a few minutes. She was stressed out and needed to talk. She thanked me for listening. Those few minutes enriched my day.
Then there is the opposite of giving time and one of my favorite peeves.
It is a driver dashing back and forth across lanes to be first at the next stop light. If they are not going at least fifty miles, speeding will get that person to their destination only seconds earlier than if they’d stayed within the speed limit and in a single lane. I always want to ask, “What are you going to do with those nine seconds?” It’s not even time enough to take a deep breath.
The next time you are in a hurry, think about what you will do with any time you save or perhaps if you slow down something or someone will touch your life in a way you would have missed by hurrying.
What are other small ways to be generous with your time?