Learning to Give - P1

We human beings do not fall naturally into a life of giving.  If you have a toddler, or have ever taken care of a toddler, you know this is absolute truth.  Naturally we like to keep things that end up in our hands. So how is it that there are people who can go from a point of keeping everything that is theirs to giving away a portion, or in some instances a majority of what they have?

Some might say that as a person grows older, due to living in community and being a part of a social network, he develops an attitude of giving and engages in sharing more readily.  Once a person is able to comprehend need and understand the impact of need in her own life, she begins to empathize with others’ needs and to help when possible. This line of thought certainly presents a plausible process for turning a stingy youngster into a giving adult, but when considered in contrast to what is evidenced in our society, it loses its plausibility.  

If all people developed attitudes of giving as they grew older and interacted within their society, everyone over a certain age would give.  Do all “grownups” give? Aren’t there reports on the “least charitable states”? How about giving worldwide? Why is there an imbalance of giving if we all just come by this whole charitable thing naturally as we get older?  The answer seems obvious. People do not grow into charitable adults simply on the basis of growing older. A stingy toddler will be a stingy adult unless something intervenes to change that person’s attitude toward helping others.  

At eMite we believe that giving, and more particularly a life of giving, is something that is learned.  It is passed on from generation to generation. It is encouraged and nurtured in the life of a person. If you know a truly generous person, it’s likely they learned to be generous from a person, a parent, a mentor, a peer. Someone touched that person’s life and taught them how to be generous.   

So this topic is deep and wide.  We want to give it the detailed, in depth dive it deserves.  So we are going to cover this topic over the next few weeks and talk about all these points and how we can both teach and learn how to live a life of giving.   If you have a particular area that you would like discussed please let us know and we will touch on that. For now we encourage you to check back with Giving Encouragement each Sunday to find the next entry in this series.