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What Is Generosity?

Generosity is freely sharing with others the many gifts God has given us. A spirit of generosity arises from gratitude. As we imitate God’s own generous nature, our generosity overflows to bless the people around us.

Generosity: Helping Our Neighbor Flourish

by Chris Schoon, Director of Thrive-US

I think I was just eight or maybe nine years old. My mom took me and one of my sisters with her to pick up some groceries. As we were going through the aisles, Mom told me to go ahead and pick out my favorite meal. Without hesitating, I grabbed a few boxes of Kraft macaroni and cheese. I’m quite convinced that back then I existed almost entirely on that favorite food, with an occasional diced-up hotdog thrown in. I was such a picky eater.

When we got back home and started putting the groceries away, Mom told us we needed to set aside some items for the Thanksgiving food drive at school. I remember grabbing the canned veggies. I figured if we gave away the peas or lima beans, that meant I wouldn’t have to eat them.
But Mom prompted us: “You need to give away something you love.”

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Helpful Resources on Generosity

Scripture passages on generosity and a resource list of good things to read, watch, and listen to.

How Can I Practice Generosity?

Practicing Generosity Individually

Practicing Generosity with a Group

Practicing Generosity as a Family

Points to Ponder

Explore these questions in personal reflection, at home, or in small groups:

  • How might I share my resources, talents, time, and relationships in new ways to bless others?
  • How well do my thoughts and words reflect generosity? Do I silently ascribe motives to people? Do I judge others and myself harshly? Do my words spread grace and peace?
  • How might I remember Jesus’ generous self-sacrifice daily, so that my generosity flows out of profound gratitude?
  • How might my giving become infused with more joy?


“Do all the good you can,
By all the means you can,
In all the ways you can,
In all the places you can,
At all the times you can,
To all the people you can,
As long as ever you can.”

—John Wesley Tweet this quote

Explore Other Faith Practices

Faith Formation Ministries’ Faith Practices Project explores twelve Christian practices or spiritual disciplines: sabbath, gratitude, generosity, hospitality, engaging Scripture, justice and mercy, listening, celebration, prayer, wonder, remembering, and service.