Be generous, not stingy

October 2, 2023 | 28 comments

If you’re ever inclined to be stingy with your giving, here’s a verse from Proverbs on the subject that is thought-provoking:

Don’t eat with people who are stingy; don’t desire ther delicacies. They are always thinking about how much it costs. “Eat and drink,” they say, but they don’t mean it. You will throw up what little you’ve eaten, and your compliments will be wasted.

~ Proverbs 23:6-8, NLT

Stinginess is not a virtue. It’s a vice. It’s fear of lack. Generosity is its cure.

Generosity does not mean we spend beyond our means, give away money we do not have, or make short-sighted decisions that cause future suffering. Generosity is an act of the heart. It’s about motive and desire.

We can have little money, and still be super-generous.

Generosity is goodwill, compassion, thoughtfulness, care, kindness, and their kin, soaring unloosed, fetter-less and free, not constrained or restricted by doubt, worry, and fear.

There is no limit to how much love and care we can show and give! When our heart is free, our outward gestures reflect the same, and wise ways to show generosity appear that bless the giver and the receiver.

Mary Baker Eddy writes, “Giving does not impoverish us in the service of our Maker, neither does withholding enrich us”
(Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 79).

Stinginess is poverty. Generosity is riches.

28 thoughts on “Be generous, not stingy”

  1. Beautiful!!!!

    Thank you- there is hope and love in giving of yourself in whatever form it takes and blesses everyone.

  2. Excellent. thank you, Evan for this clarity of thought. If giving doesn’t bring joy, then it might not be enough: not materially, but spiritually enough.

  3. Generosity is actually a power! In My. 165:27, Mrs.Eddy says “He who is afraid of being too generous has lost the power of being magnanimous.”

  4. Minnie Ayers says, (Hymn 139), “Give of your heart’s rich overflow,” a pretty good reminder that first acknowledging our fulness, blessings, abundance of love, gratitude and awe makes possible the generosity behind sharing with others. Reflecting all of God’s goodness and perfection, we are infinitely provided for, and that glow of gratitude is the source of natural sharing. “Love is reflected in love;” we cannot help but share what we celebrate.

  5. I try to do at least one generous thing a week besides the usual tipping well. I try to keep $20-40 in the car for emergencies and for being generous even in small ways. I paid for the policeman’s meal behind me at the Dunkin Donuts drive-thru. When the gas attendant was joking he needed to buy a coat as it was getting cold, I gave him money. My husband once asked if I did anything for our local gas station as they were super nice to them – oh, yeah, I usually tip the guys who fill my tank several dollars I remembered. It’s fun to be open to who could use money. A favorite barista I just gave her a thank-you card for waiting on me for many years and put in $50. She got teary and said it was her birthday that day. (I didn’t know.) Another I gave $100 towards a cross-country trip to move to Montana. When another barista was in tears because a customer said she was incompetent (she wasn’t – she was very efficient) I brought her a bouquet of balloons including a star-shaped one with a star shaped “anchor” to put on counter that said stuff like “You’re a Star” so if any customer asked why there were balloons explain that a customer gave them for such excellent service. It took the sting away of former customer. An orphaned waiter from El Salvador needed help learning English. I bought him books, dictionary, tapes and always tipped well. When he got married, he invited me, the only non-Hispanic person there, to the back room of the Italian restaurant where he worked where the service was held. When the Justice of the Peace asked him who he wanted to stand up with him (Hispanic weddings the parents stand up with the bride and groom), he looked around the room and pointed to me. If anyone else has creative ways to be generous, would love to read them. It’s an adventure and I’m always looking for ideas. I try to bring a treat to people who are working and can’t easily leave work. Last week we were at 5 Guys before going to a car dealership to test-drive a car – so I texted the sales woman who I had been talking to and offered to bring something from Five Guys for her. She was delighted and asked for a peanut butter milkshake. My parents had a cottage in upstate Michigan on a beautiful lake and offered it for a week for free to our family practitioner who later said patients assume practitioners are fairly well-off financially but practitioners can use gifts, too! One financial expert noticed that clients her who were generous had the flow of money going through their life more than those who hoarded money and were not generous. It’s not the amount of money we give; it’s the thought and respect for folks who serve us or can just use the money.

      1. Thanks – there’s probably a book of ideas on being generous to get inspiration from.
        Of course, we can be spiritually generous and pray for people in need we encounter.

    1. Thank you Lindajane, your creative spiritual generosity has inspired me and opened my thought. I did not grow up with role models of this kind of behavior so I am teaching this to myself as an adult, of course with God, the most generous giver of all, guiding me.

      1. Of course being generous with smiles, kind words, helpful actions is great, too.
        How can I bless others today is a fun questions to ask.

  6. This is wonderful reminder, Evan! thank you so much. It brings to mind the verses from II Corinthians, 6 -8:
    He that soweth sparingly shall reap sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully, shall reap also bountifully.
    Every man, according as his purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.
    And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work.

    I love the assurance of these verses

  7. The artwork is very sweet and generously Loving and this message needed
    so much with the economy the way it is these days. It is very easy
    to be generous when things are going well and we are provided for, but
    when things are a challenge – not so much…although God is our True
    Provider of all things good.
    I have been debating about ordering an Ideals Christmas booklet for my
    neighbor, like I do every year, in addition to other gifts I already have for her,
    as things are so very expensive these days, but had decided to, as she loves
    Christmas and there are so many lovely Christian thoughts share in it, that
    I know she loves each year. I love the quaint and spiritual yesteryear, simple,
    inspiration also and have ordered one for myself to help absorb and share
    the real meaning of Christmas and Christlike giving of Love and to get in and
    stay in “the Spirit”, as they say, which is really Every day.
    Those are lovely expressions of love shared, Lindajane. I wish I had more to
    give and could do things like that, but love of the heart Is something I and
    anyone can give and enjoy giving freely. I love patronizing local businesses
    that are struggling, when I can, to help them along in these trying times.
    High food and heating and gas prices and the cost of everything material, has
    nothing to do with giving from the heart and I am so grateful I have the means
    to do that.
    From Hymn #327, “With constant care, His [God’s] tender love All human
    need supplies”.

  8. Lindajane,
    I loved reading your ideas of how you’ve helped others. It’s always fun for me to hear interesting ideas that others use to bless people. One of the ideas I read about a couple years ago was a “Blessings Bag” which is a very large plastic ziplok bag that you fill with such items as warm socks (winters are hard where we are), small toiletry items, snacks, a gift card to a fast food restaurant, etc. My husband and I make one for a woman and one for a man and keep them in our car. When we see someone holding a sign that says they’re homeless or in need, we stop and give them a bag. Thanks again for your post!

    1. That is so lovely, Susan. Years ago, there was a homeless vet standing at
      the exit of a mall with a sign asking for work. I went back to the store and
      bought him a pair of warm gloves. Because of the traffic, we couldn’t talk,
      but the gratitude in those split seconds when I handed them to him, out
      the window, was a blessing for both of us. That loving smile probably
      made my day even more than it did, his.

  9. “Homeless? Absolutely not!” by Judith Wiltshire-Marshall:

    by Elaine R. Moseley
    I reached out to a lonely one
    With love and tenderness.
    I felt the warmth of Love divine
    Fill my own lack with friendliness.

    I sought with selfless, earnest care
    To calm another’s fear.
    The truth I voiced dispelled my dark,
    And now I know that Love is here.

    I tried to comfort one bereaved
    With truths of man’s eternal being.
    My own sad heart its sorrow lost,
    The joyous truths my selfhood freeing.

    With declarations firm and strong
    I strove to break the chains that bound
    A dear one to a bed of pain,
    And my own perfect health I found.

    1. Thanks dearly “J” for the inspirational Poem and for the article. Am always very thankful for what you give us!♡

    2. Thank you dear J for your generosity of the many articles you share and for the lovely poem today. Much appreciated.

  10. We do often think of generousity in material sense. Evan’s reminder of its spiritual meaning is so helpful. Slowing down to see each other as we move in this world costs nothing but means so much.

    A couple of years ago I became aware of an organization out of Australia called 1000 Hearts. The practice is to make little pocket hearts. One for yourself because self-love is important and then make 999 to give away. To this date I have made and given away many more than that. But it wasn’t the little hearts (cute though they are) that were the gift. though I do think the hand work, time taken to make it also registers with people. But it was that slowing down to have a conversation, to look another of God’s children in the eyes… reminding them that they are loved… they are Love!

    Almost without exception the offer of a heart is met with teary eyes and comments that they “really needed this.”

    And I can’t give what I don’t have! Every heart given I receive. A divine law. Connection. Wonderful!!!

  11. Two incidents from the Bible come to mind. One is the widow’s mite – as the
    rich people were putting lots of money into the treasury, this woman, Jesus said,
    put in all she had. I am sure she must have been rewarded handsomely for her

    The other one was when Paull and Silan saw a paralysed man begging outside
    a temple, and they said that they had no gold or silver to give him, but they would
    give him what they had, and invited him to rise and wal. A wonderful gift for him
    as he rose, and went into th temple walking and leaping and praising God.

    Mrs. Eddy gave of her “rich overflow” of love in many ways – by healing .
    and teaching her fellow man about Christ and the healing power we have
    all been given. She also gave generously of her hard-earned riches to all
    sorts of needs in her community – shoes for poor children, money for
    needed repairs in her community etc. etc. There are so many ways we can
    give, for we are all spiritual millionaires!!

    1. Thank you very much Maggie for your comment!
      Healing in Christian Science through the power of God is the greatest richness one can give and for those who experience such wonderful healing! Even a loving smile to one in need of it is blessing both.♡

  12. Perfect! Thank you! I really appreciated the comments, the stories, poem, too! It is such a burden to not give what your heart wants to give. “Freely ye have received, freely give!” (Matt. 10:8) ,,, fearlessly!

  13. Thank you Evan. Thank you all. This is the golden rule, to love one another. This love can be expressed both spiritually and materially. One always feels fulfilled, when he or she gives.

  14. Thank you dear Evan and thanks a lot everyone for your inspiring comments! There is no reason to be stingy as we are all the loved children of an overrich Father-Mother, God! We express the richness of God’s endless flowing ideas to us. And lovingly giving makes us very happy!♡

  15. I’m reminded of the woman where we used to live who told me of the Christmas when her husband was out of work and they had just enough money to buy basic food but nothing else. They had several children. The gifts that were given that year were notes from each to their brothers and sisters telling each of them what they would GIVE of their time and talents. She told me it was the best Christmas that family ever had. That truly was Love in action.

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