How do we learn how to be generous? For me, as I reflect back to my childhood, I see that my Granma taught me how to be generous, not by lecturing me but by living it.
Growing up, I loved and appreciated my Granma. During the summer, my brothers, cousins, and I would go stay at her house and we knew she was “all ours”! She rode bikes with us, swam with us, played cards with us and she made sure we played with other kids in the neighborhood. She was fun-loving and generous and she loved us unconditionally.
What I did not realize until I was an adult is that my Granma lived her life to serve others. She didn’t have a lot of money but she gave extravagantly of her time and herself.
Granma loved everyone like she loved her grandchildren, unconditionally, never judging, always doing for others never expecting anything in return. She literally organized her life around others, happily disrupting her life whenever there was a need she could fill. Granma did not consider this a sacrifice, it was a God-given gift and it was clear that the Fruit of the Spirit was plentiful in her.
Granma’s spirit of generosity was probably nurtured in her childhood during the early 1900’s as the child of an itinerant Methodist pastor in the Georgia conference. Granma served God and her neighbor. She lived in community with others, even picking up trash on her daily walks (before creation care was popular). She continued serving others until a brain tumor took her life at age 88.
Granma’s light shone brightly for three generations and her legacy of generosity will live on in her children and grandchildren and through countless generations into the future.