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Your Voice: 6 ways to spark more generosity in your life

By Matt Tullos
Tennessee Baptist Mission Board

I have regretted many purchases, but one thing I’ve never regretted is the money I gave away.

Scientists are now saying that generosity actually changes your brain, and that generous people are happier people. But not only does it bless us to give, it also blesses God. He loves a cheerful giver.

Perhaps the greatest adventure you’ll experience is the journey of generosity.

Here are six ways to increase your generosity quotient:

  1. Begin with the tithe.

Tithing is God’s way of developing our generosity muscles. In the Old Testament, tithing is a start. It’s our way of saying to God, “I trust you with all of my finances.”

As it’s been said, the tithe is the one promise in the Bible where God invites us to test Him. “Prove me,” He says in Malachi 3:10.

  1. Transfer ownership of everything you have to God.

Look around your house and say to God, “These shoes, clothes, furniture, kitchen items, laptop, TV and everything else — it’s all yours, God. Thanks for letting me use them all for Your glory.”

Matt Tullos.

It’s really amazing to see what transferring the ownership of everything does. It forces you to think about where you drive God’s car, what you watch on God’s TV and what sites you visit on God’s laptop.

  1. Give anonymously.

By doing this, you are paper shredding your ego. When you give anonymously to a person in need, your gifts are incarnational. In other words, people receive it as if it were given from the Lord Himself.

  1. Give sacrificially.

It’s easy for a millionaire to give a thousand dollars. That’s not sacrifice. Sacrificial giving is dangerous generosity, and it’s the kind of gift that touches the heart of God.


We like comfort, pleasure, entertainment and convenience. But when we give sacrificially, we are placed in the position of saying “no” to our earthly desires to make room for heavenly desires.

  1. Practice an eternal mindset.

In financial investments, you’ve heard it said, “take the long view.” By that they mean 10, 20, even 30 years down the road.

That’s a great plan for financial independence, but Jesus cares about what our investments in generosity will mean 10,000 years from now. When we give our treasures to advance the gospel of Jesus, we are making an eternal impact.

  1. Enjoy the ride.

It really is an adventure. When we give, we have better stories than the folks who hoard riches for themselves. Everything is more enjoyable because we become more like God. He is our example. How much did He give? See John 3:16.

Our Father is inviting us on a shared journey. He’s saying, “Why don’t you give me what you have, and I’ll give you what I have. Let’s do this together.”

In reality, God doesn’t need your blessings, but we sure need His. Once we see generosity as a partnership and a journey with God, it will make our brief time on earth much more exciting and transcendent.

EDITOR’S NOTE — Matt Tullos directs stewardship development for the Tennessee Baptist Mission Board. This article first appeared in the Baptist and Reflector and has been adapted for space.

Letters to the Editor

Thank you for the article on Mrs. Glenn Ingouf in the Aug. 24 edition. You captured her heart and life well.

Having known Mrs. Glenn and her husband, John, for years, I can attest they are models of New Testament discipleship. Their commitment to our Lord and His church, their missions dedication and their walk with our Lord inspire all who know them.

Thank you for highlighting the life of one of Southern Baptist’s finest missionaries.

Phil Waldrep

I look forward to getting your paper and reading it regularly. In fact, I read it and pass it on to others to read.

In your Aug. 3 edition, the page 6 story titled “Sound of Freedom film finds box office success” is concerning. I think calling the film a success needs to be taken in context. Information shared from the McCain Institute provides a more realistic view and should be considered.

While the film’s intent is to draw awareness to child trafficking, I believe any portrayal of the issue needs to be more realistic.

For instance, in the Aug. 6 edition of Mississippi’s Clarion-Ledger, Kristen Abrams, senior director for combating human trafficking at the McCain Institute, shares her concern.

“No one should question the importance of raising awareness … (but) the depictions of child trafficking and the rescue tactics celebrated … are highly sensationalized, misleading and do more harm than good,” Abrams writes. “[W]e may miss” opportunities for broader, global solutions.

Truitt Hobby
Cleveland, Mississippi

The Holy Spirit gives every believer a gift to use in service in the church, so all generations should be considered in a church’s recruiting strategy.

Pastor Aaron Summers
First Baptist Church
Crowley, Texas

“I really felt like God had placed me in this role, and because He fulfilled my desire to be a career first responder, then I would serve Him through it,” said Tommy Neiman, firefighter and paramedic, who responds to calls if needed and helps with the training division of the St. Lucie County (Florida) Fire Department.

“It takes an outside-of-the-box mentality to engage the lost in our community [in Chesterfield, New Jersey],” said Buff McNickle, director of compassion ministries for the Baptist Resource Network of Pennsylvania/South Jersey.

Ashley Veneman, a small group leader at Bellevue Baptist Church in the Memphis area, believes youth leaders have to talk through “the why” of what they believe. “If [they] don’t know why … then I feel like we’ve really failed in equipping them.”

“The anxiety of [selecting our gender] is something that we were not created to have to bear,” said Katie McCoy, director of women’s ministry for the Baptist General Convention of Texas.

“In ministry you end up with lots of stories and scars and all kinds of stuff. To be able to have a group of guys you can confide in — it’s extremely valuable,” said Larry Hyche, who focuses on men’s spiritual development for the Alabama State Board of Missions.

“Our message to our community is simple,” said Hope Earwood, director of development and communications for The Pregnancy Network in North Carolina. “No matter where you serve, every person makes an impact on the life of another. You have a vital role to play in this mission. And there is a place for you here.”

The state has no authority to penalize individuals for their religious beliefs. This is a bedrock principle of our constitutional order, and one that has been affirmed repeatedly in court decisions at all levels.

Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, SBC

“I’m just praying we’re going to continue to see these puddles of God’s grace and pray they will unite into a major river,” said Rob Jackson, director of the office of church health for the Alabama Baptist State Board of Missions, on how First Baptist Church Florence, which only had one college student prayed, “God, would You help us reach more people?” In the past several months, more than a dozen college students have been baptized and more than 70 college students attended during the last academic year.

Keep studying, keep returning to those pages, and watch how God will continue to shape and grow your mind and heart in a way that leads you closer to Him.

Jessica Ingram
“Finding ‘new’ truth”

Grandparents Day of Prayer sample prayer

Dearest Lord Jesus,

We come to you today, praying for each of our grandchildren and their parents.

While these loved ones are precious to us, they are more adored by You, their Lord and Savior.

We pray You bless them with good health, sound minds, healthy emotions and loving hearts.

Please guide and guard them in this challenging world.

Let them know You intimately, love You passionately and serve You faithfully all the days of their lives. …

We pray You equip us to be the godly grandparents, which You envisioned when You created us.

May we always love our grandchildren as You love them.

May we understand them as You understand them and view them as You view them.

Lord Jesus, we now place our thanksgivings and prayer requests for our grandchildren and their parents at the foot of the cross.

(Mention your children and grandchildren by name, giving thanks and offering special prayer requests on their behalf.)

All this, we ask in Your precious and powerful Name, Jesus! Amen.

EDITOR’S NOTE — Cathy Jacobs and Cheryl Cargill gave permission to the Christian Grandparenting Network (christiangrandparenting.com) to adapt and use this prayer for this year’s Grandparents Day of Prayer.

Cathy is founder of Pass the Legacy and author of “Pass the Legacy: 7 Keys for Grandparents Making a Difference.” Cheryl serves as the South Carolina GrandCamp registrar and editor of the newsletter, Grandparents on the Go.