It’s better to give than to receive.
That probably sounded like nonsense when the apostle Paul shared it with his friends in the first century—even if it did come straight from Jesus. And it still sounds strange to most people today.
But it’s true.
Dave Ramsey calls it the Great Misunderstanding—the mistaken belief that the only way to get more is to hold tightly to what you have. The problem is that while a clenched fist keeps money from slipping out, it also prevents any more from getting in. And though an open hand might let some cash get away, more can find its way in.
In other words, it’s the generous givers who win in the end.
“I can promise you, from meeting thousands of millionaires, that the thing the healthy ones share is a love of giving,” Dave says. “Generous giving really is the most fun you can have with money.”
That’s a lesson Dave and his wife, Sharon, have worked hard to teach their three children—and it’s a lesson that the Ramsey’s middle child, Rachel Cruze, says made a big impression on her and her siblings.
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“We always got to participate in what Mom and Dad were doing,” Rachel recalls. “At Christmas, we might go out as a family to buy a bunch of toys for a single parent with kids. Or we might do different hands-on ministries. Whatever it was, they really allowed us to be part of their giving.”
In The Legacy Journey, Rachel talks about how her mom used one teachable moment to drive home the importance of generous giving.
“As a 14-year-old girl, shopping was sort of a hobby,” she says with a smile. “If we had a Saturday with nothing to do, Mom would pick up a few of us girls and drop us off at the mall. That was what you did as a middle-school girl.”
But one Saturday, Sharon challenged Rachel and her older sister, Denise, to try something new. Instead of a routine trip to the mall, she gave them an envelope of cash and told them to take a pair of girls living at a local support ministry on a shopping spree.
“It was kind of awkward,” says Rachel. “But we started talking and realized they were just like us. They were just teenage girls. So we just went shopping to get them some new clothes, and the whole day was like all these little makeovers. It was so much fun!”
When Rachel got back home, Sharon was waiting with an important question: Was it more fun to shop for yourself or to invest in helping someone else? Rachel’s response was immediate. Helping someone else was way more fun than an ordinary day at the mall!
“I remember Mom looked at me and said, ‘That’s right, Rachel. It is fun to give.’ As a 14-year-old girl, I probably didn’t grasp the full weight of that. But looking back now, I am so thankful for a mom who could pair something her teenage girls enjoyed with an opportunity to serve.”
When it comes to generosity, more is caught than taught. Giving blesses the giver and the receiver, but it also rubs off on future generations who are watching. It has the power to change your family tree.
Make generous giving a regular part of your life—and a part of your plan to build a legacy that lasts. Start today by signing up for The Legacy Journey.