On being generous...

I'm going to tell you a little story about a girl named Sally*. 

Sally was the kind of girl who looked like she had it all together; the complete package of a P31 homemaker.

However, Sally had something that held her back from being the real deal: Sally wasn't very generous. 

Sally liked keeping her home cozy due to her inner craftiness, and her pantry filled from her shopping in bulk, but Sally didn't like to share much with others. Sally was secretly content letting others pay for her, but didn't chip in when the favor needed to be returned. Sally would go to dinners with friends and always ask for separate checks and would search for the cheapest items on a gift registry when attending baby showers or weddings for her friends because she didn't want to spend very much. 

Despite her inner frugality, Sally had no problem spending money on herself. Sally told herself she deserved that pedicure after a long weekend, or that she hadn't had a new pair of shoes in who knows how long. 

When someone asked Sally to borrow money or donate to a cause, Sally's wallet zipped shut and her bank account suddenly became too small to help. "I'm so sorry," she would reply, "I would love to help but we are really tight on funds this month. I will definitely be praying for you though!"

Sally watched in awe at the generosity of others: Treating others to lunch, buying the car's drink behind them at Starbucks, purchasing beautiful presents for others just because, and even helping out in times of need with moving, painting, cleaning, babysitting, etc. Sally wished she could be as generous as those people, but she knew her money and time was just too tight to share. 

Sally would also frequently forget about all of the times that others were generous to her: Paid her bills, bought her coffee, treated her to lunch, gave her thoughtful gifts, shared their homes, brought her meals, helped her move, cleaned her house. 

One day, when feeling a little convicted, Sally decided to try something out: With the little money she had, she was going to try to be generous. She was going to give of her time and her money, even in the smallest amounts, to bless others. She was not going to make any excuses anymore as to why she could not afford to help someone in need or buy someone a cup of coffee. She realized that everything she had was God's and not hers, and that she needed to hold loosely to the money she had in life. 

Sally started doing things like treating her friends to lunch, or surprising a co-worker with their favorite coffee. She decided to have friends over for dinner and not ask them to bring anything, simply because she wanted to bless them with her hospitality. She didn't search the gift registries of her friends anymore for the cheapest item, and instead looked for ways she could help them with something they might really need. Simply put, Sally stopped being selfish with her money and started being generous. 

Sally began seeing the ways that God continued to provide finances and continued to provide ways that she could bless others. She stopped holding on so tight to what she had and started letting go, and God kept giving her more. Sally realized that in spite for her seemingly simple frugality, she was not honoring who God wanted her to be with her finances. Sally learned the value of being a generous person by the relationships that were impacted by her hospitality and giving. 

Sally wants you to know that it's important to be generous. Sally spent too long caring about how much money she had for herself and for her family, and not enough about how much she had for others. John D. Rockefeller Jr. said, "Think of giving not as a duty, but as a privilege." 

*Obviously as you've read this you've probably assumed that either I was gossiping about someone else in a passive-agressive way or talking about myself. The latter would be true. Names have been changed to protect the subject from embarrassingly exposing herself because of how she used to be.


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