Photo Credit: Marielle
It is said many times by Jesus in Scripture, the sentiment, "A life of generosity begets generosity." Which led me to think of a conversation I had with a friend within the last week or so.
This particular person seemed to have resentment for all the ways that they were pouring out. It was like a horrible stench filled the room when they talked with their sense of entitlement and all the ways they continually give out.
Something is off here. Generosity begets generosity, not bitterness. For my friend, there was a demand being placed on people that they were unaware of. My friend wasn't giving out compassion for free, but instead for validation and recognition. And when you put those stipulations on the beauty of "Giving", you'll never get in return its true fruit.
Generosity begets generosity.
It comes back to you when you least expect it, and usually not by your own doing. And in so doing it becomes generosity poured out "to" you, rather than coming from within you. Which if it had come from "within" you, it would be more or less of a self-induced motivation and not the type of giving that involves exchange with others and the world around us.
So in this conversation with my friend, I felt irritation rising up within me. Bitterness begets bitterness. We all know that misery loves company, and you can definitely find someone to party with and agree to all your self-righteous woes.
But just as others had done for me countless times in the past, when I had my own self-righteous rants, I chose in that moment to give. I chose to respond with compassion and kindness.
Photo Credit: Daniella Hovsepian
It was a Compassion that had not been authored by me, but was mine for the taking and the using. Plus, mercy began to flood my heart. How many times, had I felt drained or taken advantage of, for the many ways I tried to give my love away.
If a life of generosity begets generosity, meaning...If giving increases joy in your life and the cycle of receiving, why, then oh why, would one who gives so much away have a stench of bitterness trailing behind them and ever present on their breath?
I think for several reasons, some reasons being: The intent to give was not genuine. There were stipulations put on the act of giving. Manipulation was involved, and the person didn't get their desired result. Or perhaps the key reason being: Giving out of fear or perceived obligation, versus giving out of love and faith.
My demand and expectation is no longer on shifty people or circumstances to bring forth the reaping of what I've sown, but my trust is in the ever stable God who gloriously outshines them all. He is the best Giver. Always.
And as it has been said to me: "You can never out-give God." And how He chooses to give back to you and bless you, will always far surpass any dreams and hopes that you may have had for yourself and others.
A life of generosity begets generosity.
Giving is not giving, if you're only after the taking.