December 23, 2009 at 5:01 pm (Uncategorized) ()

We have been on the receiving end of some very generous people through our marriage and even before.  The first significant act of generosity from friends that comes to mind is before we were married and friends from church let me live with them during breaks in college so I could work and do summer school.  It really meant so much to us (it would have cost a lot of money to stay on campus) and ever since then we really wanted to return the favour to someone.  The church we went to always had food after the service.  Not just snacks but a whole meal!  And as the college students, we were always the recipients of any leftovers.   It also meant a lot to us when our friends did so much to support us for our wedding.  They constantly asked us if we needed anything and it didn’t matter what it was, they did it no questions asked.  College and wedding planning are two very stressful times and we had some very wonderful friends who eased a lot of the stress for us.

We have also been on the receiving end of generosity where the generous person was only concerned about how good they looked in other people’s eyes, held it over our heads in the future, and acted like the martyr for being so “generous”.  I hope that I will NEVER be this kind of person.

Since we have been back it has been so much harder to practice generosity.  Finances were already strained and we just happened to move back just as the economy took a plunge.  I have to confess that I have felt very stingy with our resources and have a hard time loosening my grip when it comes to showing acts of kindness toward others in a monetary way.  We meet at a restaurant every Sunday with a small group from church.  The fact that we meet at a restaurant has been a sore spot for me because we didn’t really get to eat out much in the first place and now whatever money we had for that has to be spent at a restaurant I don’t even care to go to!  But we go and we just order soup or we share a sandwich.  A couple of weeks ago it was just Josh and I and 2 college students.  Josh leaned over and said, “Can we pay for their meal?”  My jaw immediately clenched and for a split second I thought, “Oh, no!  The budget!”  But after that split second I forced the thought away and said, “If you want.”  It was an embarrassingly difficult thing for me to do at this time.  Of course the guys fought against it but we won in the end, even though one of them only ordered coffee.

It has always been such a pleasure for us to pay for someone’s meal or entertain with great food or send over a wee gift, but I have been so tight-fisted lately and I really need to loosen up.  Now is a time like no other when we need to show generosity.

I was humbled and reminded of my stinginess recently when I opened a couple of Christmas cards and found gifts of cash from people completely unexpected.  I remembered also last year we were sent a $50 gift card anonymously.

When it comes to others I will have to try harder to be less focused on the budget and more focused on giving to others.


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