There are so many reasons to be generous that single blog article could not do the subject justice. We are inundated with stories, pictures, and videos of the poorest of the world that truly need our generosity. Others can certainly benefit from our generosity, and this is a very noble reason to be generous. Those that the world would define as successful based on accomplishments or accumulation of wealth are more often than not characterized as being generous. Whether religious or not, countless stories exist of the vast amounts of generosity of the world’s wealthiest. No one could argue against the wisdom of following the examples of those you deem to be successful, thus being generous for the purpose of self success would be considered a wise reason.
However, I’d like to focus this article on the more personal reasons that leaders should be generous. By personal reasons, I am referring to the impact that will take place in your life when you embrace generosity. I recently had the privilege of being introduced to an organization that works tirelessly to provide clean water to those of the world that have very few others means of providing this crucial ingredient of life. Accessible clean water means that children can avoid death by dehydration, parents can rest assured that their children will not die of water born illness, children can attend school rather than make day long voyages to get water for the family, and human trafficking statistics will fall because women and girls don’t have to walk through dangerous areas for water…just to name a few.
With This Ring provides this wonderful life giving resource to the poorest of our world, and they do so by unashamedly asking those that take clean water for granted to embrace radical giving. Others may call it sacrificial giving, but radical giving is not giving from your surplus. Radical giving is giving to the point that sacrifice of some sort takes place in your own life. But here is the wonderful part about With This Ring; this organization majors not on the wonderful impact that clean water will bring to those that need it, but they major on the wonderful impact generousity will have on the giver.
Let me describe a few of those impacts that you will experience in your life if you embrace this radical giving as defined by With This Ring.
Wants Versus Needs
Those that live in privileged countries really struggle to identify the difference between a want and a need. Most married couples in America would consider their wedding rings to be a need. But it was the realization that this deeply symbolic representation of the bond between a husband and wife was not a necessity and giving a wedding ring away meant hundreds, even thousands, could have clean water. Our lives are so stressed with the clutter of activities, social clubs, possessions, and keeping up with the Jones’ that we can’t identify the truly important things in our lives. Radical generosity will bring a special clarity to the important.
It Is Just Money
I was very fortunate to have parents that taught me the importance of a work ethic necessary to earn a good wage. Additionally, I was taught the importance of saving the money that I earn. However, my parents didn’t stop there. They also taught me that it was ‘just money’ by setting great examples of generous givers. Wisdom can be found in 1 Timothy 6:10; For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, and by craving it, some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pains. The love of money, which most always prevents generous giving, brings about a great amount of pressure and stress. Freedom from such evils is only found in the realization that it is ‘just money’ and therefore giving it generously. Let me also share a short testimony; I’ve never missed anything that I gave to those less fortunate.
Please don’t ask me to explain how this happens, but I can assure you that radical generosity will bring about an inner satisfaction that nothing else can. Now I’m not referring to a short term soothing of the conscience or the pleasure of checking off a item on the to-do list. For me, this satisfaction comes from knowing that I’ve done all I can to be as much like Christ as I can. I believe the quote to be original with Johnny Hunt, and I certainly agree with it; “you are never more like Christ than when you are giving.” That said, I’ve also witnessed the peaceful contenance upon the face of those that don’t embrace the savior Christ but open their hearts to the less fortunate through generous giving.
Improves Work Ethic
This doesn’t seem intuitive, but it is a truth that I’ve found to be absolute. The inner satisfaction and pleasure that is found in radical generosity creates a deep drive to do more. In my recent introduction to With This Ring, I don’t recall a conversation with a person that helped with just one deep water well. The inner satisfaction and pleasure received by radical giving drove each of these to do more, work harder, earn more, and sacrifice more in order to give more. The numbers just don’t support such a reaction. A single act of giving could provide clean water for thousands, surely that is sufficient. Well, not for those experiencing the deep internal satisfaction of radical generosity.
Generosity Is Contagious
Leadership by definition is an influence over others. It isn’t a dictatorial or manipulative authority over others. If a leader wants a team to embrace a positive attitude of team work, he must first set the example and allow the spirit of team work to become contagious and influence others to act likewise. Generosity is just the same as any other leadership characteristic. The generous leader will certainly influence others to also be generous. Knowing the positive impacts that takes place in your own life, as a leader you have the blessing of watching others positively impacted through radical generosity.
How confident am I that you will experience these deeply personal impacts on your life through radical generosity? Well, I’m relying on the words of God Himself. Only in the area of giving did God give us the permission to “test Me in this way” (Malachi 3:10). You don’t have to believe me, read it in God’s Word for yourself. I encourage you to embrace radical generosity today. If you aren’t familiar with a place to start giving, let me recommend With This Ring.
Share your experience with generosity in the comments below to encourage us all. Tell us how you’ve found ways to exercise generosity. Can you identify other life impacting benefits of generosity?