Fruits of the Spirit: Generosity


You never really know what you have until it's gone.

Good health? We don't really think about it until we are sick and just want it back. Stable family? It's a given unless it's not. Safe community? We enjoy it, but don't really think about it much until a tragedy occurs.

It is so easy to take what we have for granted and think that it really isn't much at all. It is much easier to see what we don't have and spend our energy focused on getting it.

In today's fruit, I think we have a bit of a cure for this complacency. We can't be generous if we don't understand that we have something to give. And we only know we have something worth giving if we are grateful for what we have been given.

When I was in college, I had a friend who had a job. Whenever I visited her, she would take me to lunch and pay for it every time. That small bill meant so much more to me than the money did to her, and while I would be able to repay her financially, I would never be able to repay her equally in effect.

Instead, I realized that I had to pay it forward. Not because of any obligation she put on me. She only paid for me because I had a need, and she had the means to help. She did it out of a spirit of love and generosity.

In our every day lives, we are given so much more, and we have no idea how much we need it or how grateful we should be. We can be so focused on what we don't have that we miss all that we do have. When we see all that we have been given, generosity is easy.

Do you have talent, money, love, joy, time? Are you holding on to it or taking it for granted?

Today, look to see what you have been given and give some of it to another. Don't worry that you don't have enough. Just like the loaves and the fish, there will be plenty.

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Karen May

Inspirational Catholic Writer and Speaker

based in Austin, Texas