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What Does Being Generous Mean?

How Generosity is Defined

Generosity is defined in a number of ways. One definition is “the quality of being kind or generous”, while an alternative definition is “the quality or fact of being plentiful or large”. In the thesaurus, one of many synonyms is “openhandedness”. Each of these speak to an inherent sense of giving, enriching or bettering something or someone else.  

But generosity is not just a definition or concept; it is a series of intentional choices we make to look beyond ourselves, identify a need, and take action to fulfill it. It is, at its core, an expression of love for another, no matter how brief, small, or seemingly insignificant. And it matters

An Expression of Love 

As a believer in Christ, the concept of service and being generous, either with my time, actions, or goods, is deeply important. It is, in every way, the foundation of my faith. The beauty of generosity (true generosity, that is) is that there is no expectation of something in return. Pouring into others for the sake of pouring into others. As a Christian, my sole purpose and mission on this planet requires meeting people in their places of pain, hardship, suffering, or need. It is both unselfish and validates that person’s lived experiences. It is about love and abundance for every single human being. Everyone’s birthright, as far as I’m concerned. 

Validating Humanity

Scientists say generosity is contagious. It has its roots not just in our individual development, but also in our biology and evolutionary history. In other words, it runs deep through us. 

I believe one of the main objectives of generosity is seeing beyond yourself. The “bigger picture”, if you will. To be generous towards someone is one of the finest gifts you can give them. So that they may be seen. And at its very best, so that they may thrive. 

Generosity need not be complicated. Paying for the coffee of the person behind you at a coffee shop. Smiling at a stranger. Holding the door for someone. Volunteering at a local food bank for underserved populations. It embodies “paying it forward” and involved generous solely for the sake of being generous.

Being generous makes me feel good. To know that others feel loved because I have known love is the most extraordinary chain reaction I will ever experience.  

A Lifelong Practice 

Ultimately, generosity comes down to two things: How are you loving on others, and how are you serving them? Being generous is a lifelong practice that costs nothing and means everything. Why? Because kindness without an agenda makes an impact like nothing else. 

And that’s something we can all make a little more room for.

This article was written by our very own Megan Carter. Learn more about Megan here.


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