Last year, I had a lot of time off around my birthday, and so served a very nice tea to a group of ladies from church who have been an important part of my life. While I was happy to do this form them, I was also able to take time to experiment and try certain dishes, and pray for the ladies who would be eating it. As many of us know, there are many reasons to be happy being generous to others.
Often times, some people have much more difficulty receiving generosity from others. When I was much younger, I often didn’t want to need the help my parents offered us in various manners. Offers to clean or bring over food, paying for this or that when we’re out together. It was difficult. Feelings of guilt and inadequacy would sometimes flood me. At times, I have told them that I simply want to pay for something myself, from my own money, for that gratification.
But we didn’t have a lot of money the first few years of our marriage. We will likely never make what my parents did. And so we learned how to receive generosity–from parents, friends, and people at church. I am happy to say that we both give blessings to others, and also still receive them from time to time. Rather than worrying about being beholden to someone for a gift or paying for a meal while out, I enjoy knowing that someone has cared and thought about us. And that we can show the same for someone who needs it.
How we engage on both sides is part of what determines who we are, and if we can achieve mature attitudes to generosity–linked to the spiritual fruit of kindness–we can do so much for others while also seeing to our own spiritual health.