A few weeks ago, I wrote an article about one key to dealing with conflict in your marriage. It wasn’t groundbreaking, but absolutely crucial…to remove the possibility of divorce from the table. When we remove our “out”, it changes the way we deal with conflict.
There is also a key ingredient to strengthening all of your relationships…your marriage, your family, your friends, your co-workers, even the people that you don’t like to be around…choosing to live a life of generosity.
Deidra and I see this lived out all around us all the time. Generosity changes the way you see others, the way you see yourself, and they way you interact with every person you come in contact with.
It is the lifestyle choice that says “I have something to give” in a world that has been poisoned by the question “what do you have to give me”.
It’s not just about financial giving, though that is an important part, it is more about how a person sees the world.
Generosity says, “you need help…I can help”.
Generosity says, “even though you hurt me, I have enough to forgive you”.
Generosity says, “I have a part to play in your story”, which is significantly different than most people who assess the value of whether others can add to their own story.
Generosity says, “I want to do my part” instead of expecting everyone else to do something for you.
In the midst of an argument, a generous person is more willing and able to compromise or admit when they are wrong. When they are right, they are more willing to settle for less than absolute defeat from the one they are in conflict with.
Generosity is the key to the gospel, where God GAVE His Son, when we were not worthy.
Generosity is the grace that Jesus GAVE us by being obedient to die on that cross for us.
Living out the gospel is the belief that I GIVE myself to God and to my neighbor.
The church should be the perfect training ground for this important attribute of living life. We serve out of generosity instead of expecting others to serve us. We give of our own financial means to fund a community that is spreading the gospel and helping to grow disciples. We generously encourage the people we come into contact with on a weekly basis. We generously forgive each other when we disagree. We generously help when someone is hurting or needs help. We generously help others grow from the lessons that have helped to shape us.
There really is not end to the possibilities of living out generosity. However, there are huge costs when we choose to ignore it.
Will you choose to be a generous person? You can start with the next person you come in contact with.