Generosity is defined as the quality of giving unselfishly to others. In this episode, Amy Killingsworth explains generosity as the 7th Pillar of Wisdom. The Generosity of Spirit is particularly important! It’s when you give who you truly are to the world. When you give your true self to the world, you rise to your calling.
Add cheerfulness into the mix to show that you are happy to participate in God’s economy. And you’re ready to reign! Tune in and learn how to be generous to worthy causes. There are many pitfalls you can fall into with false generosity. Don’t miss this episode!
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Generosity: Live A Life Of Significance By Giving Yourself To The World
This episode is on generosity. We are on pillar number seven, which is the final pillar and then we get to move into the categories. As a reminder, if you’re joining me for the first time or maybe you forgot, this show is a framework for emotional life healing that consists of seven pillars of wisdom, which are seven keys for living that are applied to seven categories.
The seven pillars are Identity, Sovereignty, Amnesty, which is a well-rounded robust idea of forgiveness, Integrity, Polarity, which is your gender identity and Vulnerability. The seventh and final one, which we’re covering now is Generosity. We’re going to wrap up the pillars with generosity. I’m super excited about this one because it is one of those keys for living that is often overlooked or maybe we hear it so much that we ignore it. Let’s start with the definition. Generosity is defined as the quality of giving unselfishly to others. One of the things that I see coming up so often in emotional healing applications is the problem of codependency.
I would say that codependency is generosity that is perverted. The adversary uses our greatest qualities against us all of the time. When generosity is perverted, it turns into codependency. Right off the bat, I want to talk about the difference between the two. If you struggle with codependency, which I would say a lot of us do, not most of us do, you have a feeling of being depleted or drained because you’re over-giving. I want to make a distinction quickly and right off the bat between generosity and codependent over-giving.
Over-giving or codependent giving is giving with the hopes that you will be loved and accepted. It’s trying to buy people’s love and acceptance. That’s not what we’re talking about. It’s something completely different. I’ll continue unpacking that distinction but before we do that, I’m going to handle the different types of generosity. When we talk about generosity, a lot of us might automatically jump to money. Money is a part of generosity but it’s not the only part of generosity. There’s money and along with that are material objects. Those are easy money and material objects that are obvious, but the ones that I want to focus on are a generosity of time and generosity of spirit.
Generosity Of Time And Spirit
What is being generous with your time? Being generous with your time looks like putting your smartphone down, listening to somebody, looking in their eyes and holding the space for them to be seen and heard by you. The generosity of spirit ties into vulnerability which is the sharing of yourself with someone else or with other people.
The generosity of spirit is a critical one when we talk about community because it allows us to share our experience, perspective and who we really are with the world. One of the actual final pinnacles of the Rise to Reign is the category of calling. The seven pillars applied to the seven categories are progression, body and mind. Mind is a will and emotions are the complex of the soul, spirit, relationships, finances, creativity and then calling. It’s designed to emotionally heal and let go of what holds you back so that you can rise into your purpose and your calling.
The reason that generosity of spirit is so critical to the Rise to Reign framework is that, in order for you to rise into your calling, you have to give who you truly are to the world. That’s also why generosity is maybe the last pillar because we’re learning, all throughout, to tell the truth, to live in integrity, for the inside to match the outside, to be vulnerable, to crack ourselves open and let the world see the true us.
The generosity of spirit is learning to share who you truly are from a healed place and from a place of wholeness. There’s a shadow side of generosity of spirit, which is wanting to be seen and heard so that you can have significance so you can feel like you’re not enough. When you have a wound of unworthiness, you often show up with dysfunctional generosity. You overshare, say too much and maybe out too much to try to get attention so that you can answer that question of, “Am I good enough? Do people like me?” We see this playing out all over social media.If you want friendship, you need to learn to give away friendship. Click To Tweet
I want to make a clear distinction there. This is something that I’ll use my kids as an example. I do this a lot because they helped me flesh out my material. One of my kids wants to start a YouTube channel. They come to me 2 or 3 times a day. They desperately want to start this YouTube channel. My admonition to them is that when you gain mastery and you can add massive value to the space, then I will help you start a YouTube channel because the first question was, “Why do you want to start a YouTube channel?” “I want to cover this category and show this thing.”
It was something totally random that this child doesn’t have any expertise at all. That was my first clue that they want to be famous. They’ve been watching MrBeast, DanTDM or one of those and they’re like, “I want to be a YouTube star.” I told them that until they can add massive value and expertise to the space, they’re not starting a YouTube channel just to be seen. When we have social media and we have people doing all kinds of crazy stuff, taking pictures of their food or going live and showing all of the things about their life, that is an unhealed desire for significance.
Every single one of us is born to want to be significant. God made us that way because we’re supposed to be significant. We’re supposed to be significant for the contribution that we provide, what we add to the world and what our story, our hard work and our experiences have taught us that we can give to the community. When we talk about generosity, you can’t have the conversation about generosity without having the conversation about the shadow side of generosity.
I’ll reiterate. We can codependently be generous when we’re trying to give something in order to get something. We can also pervert our generosity, especially the generosity of spirit, to wanting us to be seen, a void to be filled in us and a question of our worthiness to be answered. How do you tell the difference between the two? You tell the difference between a more healed and whole type of generosity because you do it without any expectation or anything in return. That’s where you have to have self-awareness and to check in with yourself. If you’re like, “I’ll watch your dog this weekend,” and you want them to watch your dog next weekend, that’s why you’re doing it. That’s not generosity. That’s manipulation.
Learning to ask for what you need without manipulation and learning to give without any expectation of receiving anything else is true generosity. The types of generosity loosely are money, material objects, which goes along with gifts, your time and then the generosity of spirit. Why generosity? You reap what you sow. That’s right out of the Bible on Galatians 6:7. Whatever you have sown in the form of seed is what you harvest back into your life.
This is a universal law. It’s a spiritual principle. It’s one that you cannot get around. In my coaching practice, if somebody ever comes to me with a lack or a need in their life, my counsel is always to give away what you want to receive. I have a garden in my backyard. If I want tomatoes, I need to plant a tomato seed. If I want butternut squash, I need to plant a butternut squash seed.
If You Want A Harvest, You Need To Plant Your Seed
Seed produces after its own kind. When we talk about seed in the ground, there is the seed, soil, water and then the environment, sunshine and air that causes that seed to grow. All of those are important to get a harvest. If you want a harvest in your life, you need to learn to plant your seed according to the kind that you want to harvest. You need to learn to water your seed, the soil that you’re putting your seed into and then create the environment around it.
I’ll handle these things individually. The seed is the actual thing that you’re giving away. If you need money, then you need to learn to give away money. I know this sounds so counterintuitive but that’s the way of the kingdom. It’s the upside-down backward kingdom. If you want more money, you need to learn to be generous and give away more money. Similarly, if you’re lonely, if you want friendship, you need to learn to give away friendship. If you want invitations, if you want to be invited to places, you need to learn to invite people into your space. If you want to be recognized, you need to learn to recognize others. If you want to be appreciated, you need to learn to give appreciation away. What that does is it puts a seed in the soil that allows for a harvest.
What is the soil? The soil is the atmosphere that you give into. Where are you putting that money? In the sense of money, we want to make sure that we give our seed into good soil. That would be a non-profit or your church that’s doing good things and creating a good result in the world. You want to make sure that you get that seed into good soil. You need to make sure that you water the seed. How do you water the seed?
The first thing that you do is give the seed an assignment. You want to think in your mind like, “If I’m going to take this $100, I’m going to give it to this charity.” I always pray over that and I tell that seed what to produce like what I’m sowing into. When you water it, you continue to remember that seed. You pray and speak life over that seed. That has to do with the environment that you create around the seed too, which is your thoughts, words and belief system. You want to give that seed the right atmosphere to grow into.
If you’re being generous with your time, you want to make sure you’re giving your time to worthy causes. If you continue to give your time to somebody who takes you for granted, constantly venting on you and draining you, that’s not a good soil. You need to find good soil to give into somebody. If you’re going to mentor somebody, you want to find somebody that’s going to listen to your counsel, work with you and do what you say. You want to make sure that your seed is in good soil so that it will bear a harvest.
Luke 6:38 says, “Give and it will be given to you. A good measure pressed down, shaken together and running over will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” It speaks directly to a cause-and-effect relationship. If there’s any area of lack at all in your life, you can look at this principle of generosity and make sure that you’re getting some seed in the soil. Make sure the seed is in good soil and that you’re watering it and providing it with the proper nutrients to grow.Give nurture and beauty to the world. Click To Tweet
There’s a difference between generosity and manipulation. I already touched on it but I want to make sure that we have some guardrails around it. When we read that scripture, “Give and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over will be poured out into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” That means that if I’m generous with my time, then people are going to be generous with their time. I have seen this play out in my own life.
This show is generosity of spirit for me. I do this show to share what I have learned and developed with the world. It’s free. Anybody can read it and benefit from it. You have to be careful. This is where the universal principle works. You give and you receive. You sow and you reap, so it works. We can be sure about that and we can rest in it but you have to be careful that your motive is to bless people and not to receive something back. If you crossover that line from knowing that it’s going to produce a harvest and you can want the harvest but to do it to get something back, that’s manipulation. You need to posture your heart in a place of wanting to give something away to bless and uplift people.
These are three things that I’ve noticed that’ll help you do that. The first one is to give anonymously. If it’s possible, put cash in the offering plate. I know that’s not super financially sound advice because you want the tax write off but this is a great place to exercise that giving without manipulation muscle because you can’t even write it off on your taxes. I don’t give all of my giving this way but this is something I challenged myself to do. It’s to give a significant amount away anonymously.
Another way that you can do that is put cash in some envelope and leave it in somebody’s desk drawer. They don’t know where it came from and it blesses them. You don’t get any credit for it but you’ve got that seed and the universal law will come back to you, press down, shaken together. Give without any expectation of return. This is a self-awareness practice where you can check your own heart and say, “I’m not expecting anything. I’m going to give this to you as a gift. I’m going to give you my time as a gift.” Giving your truth is a gift. As a woman, giving your beauty is a gift, giving nurture and giving beauty to the world. If you’re an artist, putting your work out to where people can see it and enjoy it is an incredible act of generosity of spirit. If you are a musician, playing your music for people is an incredible act of generosity of spirit.
I have two children who are incredible musicians. My son is a pianist but he’s also really shy. This is something that I am always telling him, “That gift was given to be shared. It’s an act of generosity for you to play the piano for people because it’s beautiful. It is so healing and it adds so much beauty.” My other child, who’s also a brilliant musician, is a show bunny and loves to be on the stage. I’m not sure if hers is as generous as his is because his is done sacrificially and hers is more, “Look at me. I’m awesome.” She’s growing in that. She’s also very generous.
God Is A Giver
Generosity is your default. Something that I want to point out is that you were created to be generous. If it’s something that’s hard for you, that is an unhealthy style of relating. Understand that you are created in the image of God and God is a giver. For God so loved the world that he gave and continues to give, the air that we breathe, the sunshine, the people that we have around us and all the abundant blessings. God is a giver. You’re created in the image of God. You are created to give. Giving is your default.
What gets in the way? One of the things that get in the way of giving is fear of loss. One of the ways that we confront that fear of loss is to be generous. It works to keep us from giving into it. We operate in the opposite spirit. If you’re afraid that you’re going to lose, which is pretty normal until you experienced this and you start to see, “This works. I love to give now. I’m so super convinced that it works and that I get back way more than I ever give out. I love giving. It’s something that makes me so happy.”
Until you get to that place where you have the experience to anchor it into, it’s important to operate in the opposite spirit. When you have that fear and scarcity like, “If I give this away, I’m going to lose or I’m going to do without,” it’s important to confront that and operate in the opposite spirit. This is a little bit of a contradiction but something that gets in the way of our giving sometimes is the judgment of worthiness.
I said make sure you give into good soil. That discernment is necessary and judging of fruit of a situation that you’re giving into is important over the long haul, but don’t let that be a reason not to give. If you judge a person or a situation as unworthy of being given to, find somebody who is or something that is worthy. A lot of times, we hear this with the homeless. It’s like, “They’re just going to spend it on drugs.” That’s fine if you have that conviction. Go to the homeless shelter and give there. Find a way and a place to give. Don’t let the judgment of worthiness keep you from giving.
Ways to increase your generosity. The number one way that I’ve found to increase generosity is to be thankful for what you have. When you notice what you have, if you’re honest, look around and see that you don’t deserve a lot of it. A lot of it was just given to you. When you notice that you’ve been given a lot, that helps you make the transition to wanting to give a lot.
It says in scripture, “To whom much is given, from them much will be required.” You want to take the lead when you are really blessed. We all are if we pay attention. We want to take the lead in being generous with what we’ve been given. That starts with noticing all the blessings we have. Also, a positive outlook. When you know that you’re taken care of, there’s enough and you’re abundantly supplied, it makes it easier to give.Your attention, focus, energy, and presence are gifts the world needs. Click To Tweet
When you experience the faithfulness of God for yourself and the harvest that you get from getting good seed in the ground, it makes it easy to give because you are sure that you’re going to get back way more. It’s a brilliant investment strategy to be generous because you get back way more. I want to make sure that you understand that I’m not talking just about money and things. Those are great. I love giving gifts and money but I’m also talking about being generous with your time and generosity of spirit. Giving of yourself.
I’m an introvert. I’ve mentioned that lots of times. I enjoy and protect my alone time. That can be difficult when you have kids living in your house. I was in the middle of journaling. I had my candle burning, my diffuser going, I was in the flow, and I was having this great time of reflection. My daughter just woke up, sits down on the couch, and she totally interrupted my whole vibe and started telling me about the plot of the book that she was reading, which I wasn’t interested in at all. She’s pre-teen, so she and I don’t have the same taste in literature. Let’s put it that way.
She starts telling me in detail this whole plot. Everything in me wanted to be like, “I’m busy. Can’t this wait for later?” In keeping with the generosity of spirit, I put my journal away and closed the book that I had open. I focus my attention on her. I listened not because I was very interested in what she’s saying but because I wanted to give her my attention and focus. Your attention, focus, energy and presence are such a gift. That’s what generosity of spirit is and that is so important for other people to be able to receive from you.
I touched on a little bit with codependency but no discussion of generosity would be complete if we didn’t talk about boundaries around our generosity. The first thing I want to say is to give sacrificially. I feel like there’s something so healing about giving when it is uncomfortable. Your motive has to be generosity, otherwise, you’re just codependent and going to wind up depleted and drained because you’re giving to get.
Giving to get is not ever something that is good or healing but giving sacrificially with pure-hearted generosity is so important for character growth. This was years ago. I had little kids and I wasn’t working. I didn’t have any money to spend on myself. I had been given this purse by a friend of mine. It was expensive and I loved it. It was my favorite thing because I didn’t have a lot of nice things and I didn’t have my own money. I had small children. I was in between working. I was used to having a lot of money and having a well-paying job, which later I would do again but there was a sliver of time where I didn’t have access to money to spend on myself.
This thing was my precious because it was this nice expensive purse and I didn’t have a lot for myself. This is how the Holy Spirit works but I was in this one situation. This lady was like, “I like your purse.” The Holy Spirit was like, “Give her your purse.” I was like, “No, not my purse, my precious.” I wrestled with it. I know enough to know that when God tells you to do something, I might as well just do it because I’m going to end up doing it at some point or regretting it.
I emptied my purse out and I gave it to her. She couldn’t even believe it. It blessed her and me so much. I know that I got a harvest from doing that but it hurt me to let go of that purse. I know that God was training and growing me in character and Christlikeness. That’s the way that he works with us and it’s always for our own good but giving sacrificially is important.
It’s also important to give cheerfully. How does this work when I just said to give sacrificially? How can you be cheerful and sacrificial at the same time? You give cheerfully, meaning that you are happy to participate in God’s economy. You believe that what he says is true and that you’re going to get back more than you gave, not from that person but from the universal law. How it works is your harvest comes from different places. It doesn’t necessarily come back from the place where you sowed it but it will come back abundantly from lots of different sources. You can be cheerful in knowing that that is true and expecting an abundant harvest.
The last thing that’s super important is to give with no strings attached. We don’t ever want our “generosity” to become a manipulation. The way that we avoid having that be manipulation is not having strings attached. What this looks like is we know when you go to somebody and you’re like, “Can you watch my dog this weekend?” They’re like, “I can’t.” You get a little salty about it because you just watched their dog last weekend. That’s when you know, “I had strings attached. I didn’t watch their dog out of the generosity of spirit. I didn’t do that to give them a gift. I expected something in return.” That requires self-awareness to choose, give, and be generous with our time, ourselves and our material resources. Give that cheerfully and without any expectation of return.Giving cheerfully means you are happy to participate in God's economy. Click To Tweet
Generosity is pillar number seven in the Rise to Reign framework. That’s a key to emotional healing and it connects with a whole framework that is a life healing strategy. We are through the seven pillars. Next time, we’re going to start on the first category, which is the body. I’m super excited about that. Thank you so much for reading. I will see you next time.
- Identity – Past episode
- Sovereignty – Past episode
- Amnesty – Past episode
- Integrity – Past episode
- Polarity – Past episode
- Vulnerability – Previous episode
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