A Bit of Wisdom

Written by Martha on April 21st, 2010

Generosity consists not in the sum given, but the manner in which it is bestowed.


Selfish motives often hide behind the guise of generosity. These motives can include bribery, assuaging of guilt, a symbol of status, or a desire to control another. In reality, these motives make generosity a “gift” with an agenda.

Three questions we can ask to measure our motives and confirm a true gift of generosity are:

  • Is the gift made quietly or with fanfare?
  • Does the gift spring from love and kindness above all?
  • Will the gift be welcomed and seen as an affirmation of the worth of the receiver?

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2 Comments so far ↓

  1. I learned this the hard way, perhaps because I was not used to having people give to me. I grew up in a very poor family. In later years I had to learn how to accept gifts without strings, but in the process was given financial support for my education — from a family who did expect for me to live according to their perceptions. I experienced considerable emotional and spiritual pain, all part of my growth process. Thanks for this good wisdom.

    • Martha says:

      I’m so sorry you had to experience gifts with strings, Ann. I do know that you are a very compassionate person. Can’t help but think that the pain you went through was part of God making you more like Him.

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