VIRTUE: a valued principle of good moral behavior; a holy habit.
Generosity: a habit of giving without expecting anything in return.
VICE: a practice of wrong doing, corruption of virtue; an unholy habit.
Stingy: reluctant to give or spend.
During the Christmas season Generosity is the perfect Virtue to study. While most of us would consider ourselves generous people, I think this is an area that's easy to get lazy in and not realize it. As always, we can point out our weaknesses better by looking at the opposing vices. Let's consider a few more opposites of Generosity...
What picture comes to mind when you read these words? I see Scrooge and The Grinch. No doubt two movies you've seen at some point this holiday season. But seriously, when we see these two awful characters, do we see any part of ourselves?
To a cold and calculating person, being generous seems costly. To the generous, being stingy seems incomprehensible. It is greed that creates poverty not generosity. True generosity enriches us!
The true spirit of generosity comes in giving but not expecting anything in return. But more than that, we must give sacrificially. It isn't generous to give something that's old and worth discarding. We must give out of our abundance, something maybe that we want to keep. Certainly, when giving a financial gift it should be an amount that goes over and above what we might normally give.
With the Christmas season upon us, God's generous gift of Jesus Christ is top of mind. Because God made us in His image, His generous character is also built into our nature. In practicing the Virtue of Generosity we come closest to resembling the creative God in whose image we have been made.
Give away your life; you’ll find life given back, but not merely given back—given back with bonus and blessing. Giving, not getting, is the way. Generosity begets generosity. ~ Luke 6:38 MSG