It’s okay to label yourself as generous. Really, it is.

I’m fascinated at how people are comfortable applying all sorts of labels to themselves – extrovert or introvert, energetic or laid-back, punctual or habitually late – but balk at generous. I noted this hesitancy most recently at a gathering of Christian stewardship leaders – the very folk I expect to be comfortable with the moniker.

stamp_text_11289However, my request for stories of when the workshop attendees first thought of themselves as generous was met mostly by blank stares and stammered disclaimers. “It feels presumptuous to speak of myself as generous,” I was told. “We can always be more generous. We never arrive,” someone else added.

All of which is true, but not reasons enough to back away from claiming the attribute as our own. In other areas of life, we identify ourselves as being this or that long before we’re the best we could be at whatever it is.

I think of my 7-year old grandson who after his first season of baseball has declared himself a catcher. He has the full gear. He practices every chance he gets. And when not catching balls, he pours over videos of famous catchers for hints in his quest to be the best he can be.  Declan isn’t bothered that he’s many links down the baseball food chain from the big leagues. He has claimed an identity and he’s going for it.

The book of Proverbs advises that “as we think in our hearts, so we are” (Proverbs 23:7). In other words, the descriptors we apply to ourselves shape us into who and what we become.

That’s why it is important to think of ourselves as generous, to slap the label on our hearts. Right now. Wherever we are on the generosity continuum.

Please hear me. I’m not suggesting that you shout your generosity from the housetops or wear it on your sleeve like a badge of honor. I’m simply asking that you make generous your heart’s desire.

I’m asking that you claim it, live it, be it. And the next time someone asks to hear the story of when you first thought of yourself as generous, tell it. Generous matters.

What's your take on this topic?

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