A Passion for Generosity

February 15 – 17, 2017 twelve students from the DeVoe Division of Business and the NEXUS Financial Discipleship Center were able to attend the Kingdom Advisor Conference in Orlando, FL. This was my second year attending the conference, and I was thrilled to be blessed with the opportunity to go.

This three day conference was filled from the very beginning of each day to the end of each evening with an overwhelming commitment to excellence by the conference staff. Speakers for this year’s event included Mark Batterson, Lysa TerKeurst, Donald Miller, Randy Alcorn, Jerry Bower, and Jim Wise. These speakers, among so many others, provided nearly 1,000 Christian Financial Advisors from across the nation with creative ways to implement faith into their financial planning practices.

One of my favorite sessions from the conference was a breakout session on “Generosity” by Sharon Epps and Patrick Johnson. In my life, generosity is a major component of how I seek to interact with other individuals. I enjoy giving my time and, when I am able, my finances as well.  Because the target audience for the conversation was acting financial advisors, the session focused on how to create a new wave of generosity in families today. One question asked was, “What are we doing to cultivate gratitude?” This question brought to mind a defining moment in my life where generosity was cultivated for me:

I can distinctly remember the day Denver and the Mile High Orchestra performed at my home church, and World Vision displayed their infographics on children who still needed financial support.  I was about 14 years old at the time when I saw this little boy named Samuel.  I pleaded with my Dad to allow our family to sponsor Samuel. I received an allowance at the time and proposed that my dad use a portion to offset this added expense which he was otherwise unprepared to take on. I knew this opportunity would be a sacrifice for the family, but my Dad was gracious enough to partner with me on this sponsorship. It was in this moment of generosity that I first understood, in a tangible way, what generosity looked like.  I believe it was out of this experience that my passion for generosity grew into what it is today, and I am forever grateful for that opportunity.

I enjoyed the entire conference, but this session, in particular, reminded me of my desire to live a generous life. Generosity has made a large impact in my life, and I wish that you also could experience this impact. So, I will leave you with the challenge of these three practical steps towards generosity:

  • Be intentional with one specific act of generosity for 7 days

  • Eliminate a distraction that is holding you back from having a generous spirit

  • Release yourself by giving in some capacity to another individual in a face-to-face manner