The 3 Characteristics of a Generous Life

A generous life is characterized by three main things:

1. A willingness to stretch yourself.

Instead of giving the minimum tithe every year, you stretch yourself to take even larger steps of faith. What kind of giver does God want you to be? Is he stretching you to give 11 or 12 percent each year? Maybe even 15 or 20 percent? You should be willing and eager to set giving goals for yourself. Look at what you gave in the last year and say, “I gave X last year, so I am going to stretch myself to give X + Y this year.” In 2 Corinthians 9:7, Paul says, “You must each decide in your heart how much to give. And don’t give reluctantly or in response to pressure. For God loves a person who gives cheerfully.”

You should be willing and eager to set giving goals for yourself. Click To Tweet

2. A desire to be generous with others.

When you see need around you, you are quick to help. Rather than asking yourself, “Do I need to help that person?” you automatically give to his need. Being able to live in a place of quick generosity shows that you are controlling your money, not the other way around.

3. A decision to use your income fully to accomplish God’s purposes in the world.

Philemon 1:6 tells us, “You are generous because of your faith. And I am praying that you will really put your generosity to work, for in doing so you will come to an understanding of all the good things we can do for Christ.”

The only way to understand fully how you can use your life and your finances to honor God is to step up to the rung of peak-level giving. Second Corinthians 9:6 makes this promise: “Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously” (NIV).

Being able to live in a place of quick generosity shows that you are controlling your money, not the other way around. Click To Tweet

–Nelson Searcy and Jennifer Dykes Henson

The above excerpt is from pgs. 83-84 of The Generosity Ladder: Your Next Step to Financial Peace.

Help your people find financial peace with my best-selling book, The Generosity Ladder. Imagine a life in which you don’t struggle to make ends meet each month–a life with no debt, a healthy savings account, and solid plans for retirement. Imagine being able to help people in need and give to causes much bigger than your own concerns. This is how God wants everyone to live. And it is attainable. With the help of this practical and insightful book, your people will uncover their true level of financial health and discover a step-by-step plan to save, spend, and invest money in a responsible, godly way. Click here for more information on ordering in bulk for your church.

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About Nelson Searcy

Nelson Searcy is an experienced church growth strategist, pastor, church planter and coach, consulting with churches around the world. As founder of Church Leader Insights and the Renegade Pastors Network, he has personally trained more than 3,500 church leaders in over 45 denominations through live events, seminars and monthly coaching. Nelson is also the Founding and Lead Pastor of The Journey Church, with locations across New York City and in Boca Raton, FL. Nelson and his church routinely appear on lists such as “The 50 Most Influential Churches” and “The 25 Most Innovative Leaders.” He is the author of over 100 church growth resources and 18+ books, including The Renegade Pastor: Abandoning Average in Your Life, Ministry and The Difference Maker: Using Your Everyday Life for Eternal Impact, and At the Cross with the People Who Were There. He and his wife, Kelley, have one son, Alexander.

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