It Takes a Plan to Be Generous Where It Matters Most
The People We Care For – Part 7
In this final installment of our human relationships department of the Family Plan, we’d like to end with how we’re becoming a generous family.
In our accounting/finances department, we talked about ways in which we can be generous. In fact we listed seven ways that we’re generous by having targeted the following areas: our local church, other ministries, Angel tree initiatives, charitable organizations, company sponsored charities, Amazon Smiles, and random acts of kindness. We’ve become serious givers because we know the benefits.
The Thought or Concept:
How did becoming a generous family come about?
“Give, and you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full—pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, running over, and poured into your lap. The amount you give will determine the amount you get back.” – bible.com/bible/116/LUK.6.38.NLT
We’ve discovered the truth in this statement, being a generous person opens the door you need that will allow you to become more generous. But out of all our “giving,” do you know what was missing?
We’d been giving to our church and other churches. We’d given to charities and popular charitable organizations. But we weren’t very generous where it matters most. We’d not been very good to our family and with those we’re in relationships with.
“Yes, you will be enriched in every way so that you can always be generous. And when we take your gifts to those who need them, they will thank God.” – bible.com/bible/116/2CO.9.11.NLT
It says we will be enriched so that we can always be generous. Always means at all times. Do you know that the majority of your time is spent with those with whom you’re in a relationship? Therefore the majority of the recipients of your good deeds are directed towards those you can touch. What good is it to be good to those you don’t know, yet those right underneath your nose are suffering? After this conviction, we began to plan how we can make this adjustment. Whenever you want to succeed at something, you need a plan. If you have a plan to give, then you can count on succeeding at giving. If you have no plan to give then, you can be guaranteed you’ll fail at giving.
How does it look for us to be generous to our family?
Pamela and I came up with a plan. This plan included the following actions and outcomes for moving our generosity towards those that are closer to us.:
- Everyone should receive something good in the mail.
We receive a lot of junk mail and the normal bills that everyone else receives, but when we get an unexpected card, it just makes you feel good. It could be a wedding invitation, a thank you card, or a simple thinking of you card. No matter what it is, it makes a big difference. With this in mind we executed a plan that included sending cards to all the people we know for their birthday, special events, and thank you’s.
- Give gift cards for birthdays.
Did you know that most people don’t receive gifts from others on their birthday or even Christmas. It’s common for a person to celebrate their birthdays themselves. So we decided to celebrate our friends and family around their birthdays. We started by giving them lunch on us at Chick-Fil-A, or coffee on us at Starbucks, and now we’ve included gift cards to Amazon. While this sounds great and easy, it’s not. We purchase hundreds of greeting cards within a year and an equal amount of gift cards. Just think of it this way. If you have 50 friends, you’ll need a minimum of $500 for just the $10 gifts cards. The reason I bring this up is to let you know in order to accomplish this, it takes a plan. Simply remembering to get the cards and mailing them takes effort. And don’t forget the books of stamps that must be ordered. The point is this. Your family and friends are worth it. Who better than them do you have to be a recipient of your generosity? I encourage you to begin a simple plan today that you can build upon in the future.
- Gifts on Christmas and other special events.
One of the things we do that’s special is remembering the loss of a loved one. We know how emotional this day can be when it rolls around on the calendar each year, so we remember with our family and friends. We have reminders on our annual family calendar to send a card on the anniversary of the death of their special loved ones. We try to think of what we’d appreciate if we were in their shoes. It’s easy to send a text or make a call which we do, but being generous requires a little more.
What does the future state of the generous family look like for us?
It’s a goal of ours to be extraordinary givers when it comes to the people in our life. Each year, we add to the list of recipients and each year we evaluate the need to increase the gift amounts. We get so excited at the end of the year to see the results of our giving. We give God this feedback on how well or not-so-well we’ve done with the goals we’ve set. And each year we’ve been very pleased at what we’ve done. With a plan, you can be the difference in the lives of those closest to you. Remember, your life is your business; what is your life, your business accomplishing?
Question: Can you meet the needs of the people closest to you, those that should be a recipient of your generosity?