10 Ways to Live A More Generous Life

by Chris Folmsbee

Practicing generosity has the power to lower stress and anxiety, improving physical health, offering a sense of purpose and meaning, fight depression, and even increase one’s life span.  In addition, a generous life cultivates a growing connection to God and to others that often results in a deeper sense of community, a lasting hope, and an overall greater good in the world. Here are ten small ways to live a more generous life:

  1. Begin by paying attention –Observe what is happening around you.  Jump in and take action.  Be on the lookout for ways to be generous or you could easily miss them and miss out on the chance to be kind, give, serve, etc.
  2. Set goals, start small – Goals put us and keep us on course.  They help us complete our aim.  Want to be more generous?  Set some goals for your giving patterns and see what you can achieve.  It is often best to start with small, reachable, realistic goals that can be replicated and grow over time.    
  3. Give the first 10%, automate it if needed - End of the month, quarter or year and haven’t tithed yet?  Strive to give the first 10% of your income and you’ll have not only tithed you’ll have learned to trust God for provisions. Automating your giving can help provide discipline so that you aren’t tempted to use the money for other purchases or expenses. 
  4. Shift an expense to something or someone else – Do you have an ongoing expense (coffee, meals out, hobbies, habits, etc.) that you could redirect for a period of time?  Consider shifting a current expense – it won’t add more to your overall expenses and it’ll allow you to live generously at the same time! 
  5. Spend time and serve those in need – No extra money, no problem!  You can also donate your time to serve others and develop the same spirit of generosity as someone who gives money.  Serve at a food pantry, or at a Worship service as a greeter, or teaching Sunday school to kids or youth or whatever else warms your heart and meets a need.
  6. Study what the Bible says about money – The Bible has a lot to say about money, gifts, offerings, tithes, cheerful giving, etc.  Perhaps it is best for you to study what the Bible says about money to increase your knowledge for the purpose of applying the teachings to your life. 
  7. Celebrate the blessings of others – Generous people find ways to celebrate the blessings of others – even when it doesn’t have a direct or even indirect impact on them.  Step into someone else’s celebration and excitement and simply give out of a genuine spirit of joy for others. 
  8. Spend time with generous people – One of the best ways to increase your generosity is to spend time with people who are generous and let their cheerful spirit rub off on you.  You’ll be quick to learn that generosity produces generosity. 
  9. Pay it forward always wins with others – When someone does something generous for you, say thank you to that person, and pay that person’s generosity on to another person.  Keep the succession of generosity moving!
  10. Push your comfort zone – Put yourself in an uncomfortable position or environment and it’ll generate enough good tension and healthy stress to spark creativity and upgrade up your focus and motivation.

Increase your connection to God and to others by living more generously.  This will result in a deeper sense of community, a lasting hope, an increasing love for others, and an overall greater good for our world.  It is amazing how many people will be drawn to your commitment to the Christian faith simply because of your generous acts and spirit.

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At the United Methodist Church of the Resurrection, our purpose is to build a Christian community where non-religious and nominally religious people are becoming deeply committed Christians. We have a vision to be used by God to change lives, strengthen churches, and transform the world. And we are on a journey to know, love and serve God.