Generosity – you either have it or you don’t

Christmas gift copy

Generosity – you either have it or you don’t, it can not be acquired.

I heard this statement on the radio today and it made me stop and think – is that true – can you learn to be generous or is it something you are born with? Actually you could say that about most attributes we have as humans – can you learn them? Are there things you can do that will cultivate good practice and generate the kind of person you want to be?

They do say we’re a product of our past and whilst I believe our past has a huge impact on us, does it really mean we are stuck with the scars of our past for the rest of our lives? I’ve had a personal experience this last week that has shook me greatly. It’s made me look at myself with a more critical eye than usual – if that can be possible! And whilst I know my flaws and shortcomings, I do know that my heart is in the right place. I try to be the best person I can and deal with the things I say and do that may hurt others – whether with my kids (which I have to repair all the time) or with other adults – which is a bit harder to repair at times.

Also Christmas is just around the corner and generosity is something I always think about when Christmas is here. My Dad was always a generous person – it was something we grew up with – that habit of seeing the need others have and meeting that need wherever we could. Now as an adult and parent myself I want to instil that into our children. But what does it mean to be generous? Is it just about money? Of course there are many ways we can be generous to others – our time, energy, making allowances for where they’re at, thoughts and prayers in difficult times, practical help when needed, and most of all forgiveness.

Forgiveness is a huge thing.  Holding onto bitterness and hurt from the past, whether years ago or last week, affects us in many ways and holds us back from really experiencing life. There are times in my past where things have happened that were very hard to forgive – it is NOT easy and forgiveness does not mean that we are ok with whatever that person did to us. It does mean however that you can accept what has happened, take responsibility for your part if needed, let go of the pain and move on. I have to say being a Christian has helped me with this, as without God I know being able to let go is near impossible – BUT it can be done.

“Holding on to anger and resentment is like drinking poison and expecting someone else to die.” – Unknown

So this Christmas time think about those traits you would like to practice more of this year – that may be generosity, it may be patience, kindness, contentment. Whatever it is let go of the things that hold you back – resentment, anger, unforgiveness and move on. Be generous this Christmas time and you may be surprised at what an impact it has on your life too!

 

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