by Curtis Burkholder
As a young boy growing up on a dairy farm, I remember my mom talking about adding money to her Christmas Club. At the time, I didn’t understand what this meant. What I understand now is that she was intentionally setting money aside each month so that when Christmas came around my parents would have money saved to be able to buy gifts. Instead of just buying gifts out of their monthly income they had a lump sum saved to buy gifts. My parents valued generosity at Christmas time and knew that it wouldn’t happen naturally. They intentionally planned to save monthly so they could be generous at Christmas time. They had a vision of being able to enjoy giving as well as experience the joy of my sisters and I opening our gifts. This was one of the earliest examples of intentional generosity that I remember.
For many of us, giving and generosity does not occur naturally but requires intentional thought and planning. 2022 at Bare Wealth Advisors is the “Year of Intentionality.” In addition, one of our core values is generosity. Today, we’ll consider how intentionality and generosity are related. Generosity is a way that we can inspire others, a way to enrich our relationships, and allows us to expand the influence of what we manage. This kind of generosity requires intentional thought and planning.
Generosity inspires others by making an impact upon their current situation. It may be a gift that is made right when funds are needed to pay a bill or to meet the current need of a charity. Generosity can also provide funds for an organization to venture into new areas of opportunity. Then, as we share stories of generosity, others are inspired to give as well. This can cause a community to gain momentum around generosity.
Giving generously enriches relationships as it communicates, “I value who you are and know what is important to you.” Generosity requires intentional thought and planning to find a gift that reflects who the person is as well as their interests. With an organization, giving can also enrich the relationship between the giver and the organization as it allows gratitude to flow back and forth between the giver and the recipient.
Generosity expands the influence of what we manage by sharing what we have with others. Instead of keeping money, time, or talent to ourselves, as we share our resources it allows us to influence others in ways we would not have been able to do otherwise. We can encourage, train, and teach others as we share what we have.
The apostle Paul in a letter to the church at Corinth encouraged them to excel in the “grace of giving.” To excel in something requires hard work and effort. It does not occur naturally but requires sacrifice and discipline. To intentionally live a generous lifestyle requires us to say “No” to some things and make sacrifices so we can say “Yes” to others and be generous. This requires us to have a vision for our giving and to intentionally plan. Just like my parents saw on Christmas morning when they watched the joy on our faces, the energy that it takes to intentionally be generous is well worth the effort.
As you think about your personal life and giving strategy, take time to consider one area or cause that you feel inspired to be more generous in. Consider the potential impact of an increase in your generosity and develop a plan that will help you accomplish that goal. (We would love to help you create this plan!) As you develop a plan, make sacrifices, and take steps towards greater giving, you will be living in intentional generosity and experience the truth, “It’s more blessed to give than to receive.”