Spiritual Generosity

2013 Ethiopia Man at WindowGenerosity is most often aligned with the idea of giving money, time or talents. And that is correct. There is, however, a generosity of spirit that displays itself in somewhat surprising ways. A person who is spiritually generous makes room for the faults of others. Let me unpack that. I do NOT mean that a spiritually generous person allows others to abuse them. What I DO mean is that a spiritually generous person is not offended by other’s mistakes, inabilities, or weird behaviour. Spiritually generous people are centered. They know who they are, and that strong sense of identity allows them to look beyond the imperfections of the person in front of them.

A spiritually generous person will respond to the fact in another’s speech and overlook the emotion with which it is communicated. (This is a distinctly good trait to have when dealing with a tantrumy two-year-old.)

A spiritually generous person will treat disabled people as humans first, and disabled second.

A spiritually generous person will listen until the person speaking has completely finished their thought, and even let the other speaker have the ‘last word’ while completely disagreeing with them.

A spiritually generous person will recognize the fault in another person, but will choose to help train or encourage the person to correct behaviour rather than criticize. (Being quick to voice criticism is distinctly non-generous, and rather smacks of simply trying to show that you are smarter / better / quicker than the other person.)

A spiritually generous person is quick to forgive. (But don’t push it, they are still human.)

A spiritually generous person is not easily offended. Period.

People who give of time, talent and money are often also spiritually generous, but not always. Sometimes, people give of money because it is easier than giving spiritually. That is not necessarily bad. It is rare for anyone to be centered all the time, and sometimes one is simply too drained emotionally to be able to give spiritually. Still, I think that practicing spiritual generosity is a good thing.

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About Lois Loban Stuckenbruck

Trained as a Ballerina, then completed a BA in Business Adm and English Literature at Milligan College. More recently trained to be a lay pastor (Reader) in the Church of England. Wife of a Biblical Scholar, Mother of three. I'm an American who has also lived many years in England and Germany (currently Munich). I have worked as an Editorial Assistant, Systems Manager (Xerox Stars on Ethernet Network), and several positions in higher education fundraising (Alumni and Development).
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