Ep 143: Why be generous? | Third Space

Ep 143: Why be generous?

Sun 10 Nov 2019
Bible reference(s): Luke 21:1-4

In a world of many needs, being generous can be hard. Hear from the "generosity monk" who sees the power of generosity and travels the world fostering it. He shares his own powerful story of trusting in something bigger when faced with a huge need after giving everything away. An inspiring conversation.

Our guest: Dr. Gary Hoag. Gary is based in Colorado in the United States. Presently, he provides oversight or spiritual and strategic counsel for churches and nonprofits. He has worked in a variety of roles in academic institutions around the world, has written or contributed to 10 books. And he is known as the generosity monk and writes daily meditations at generositymonk.com.

This conversation was recorded in partnership with PrimeValue, a specialist high conviction investment manager.

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Bigger Questions asked in the conversation

Now you’re known as the generosity monk? So does that mean you usually wear long brown robes, chant Gregorian music and eat mouldy bread?

Smaller Questions

Today we’re talking with Dr. Gary Hoag about generosity. So in today’s smaller questions, Gary I thought we’d test you on how much you know about generous people?


What exactly is generosity?

What does it mean to be generous?

People tend to love generous people. So what is the appeal of generosity? Why do we like generosity when we see it?

Motivation to be generous from the Bible - Gary’s story

What convinced you to be a Christian believer?

Bible’s answer - widow’s story

You think the Bible has something to say about generosity, there is a story about Jesus from the New Testament book of Luke, one of the four biographies of Jesus’ life we have, at Chapter 21, verse 1, it says,

As Jesus looked up, he saw the rich putting their gifts into the temple treasury. 2 He also saw a poor widow put in two very small copper coins. 3 “Truly I tell you,” he said, “this poor widow has put in more than all the others. 4 All these people gave their gifts out of their wealth; but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.”

This is a fascinating story, what does it teach us about generosity?

Is there a difference between genuine generosity and just giving lots of money away?

But aren’t the rich people being generous in the story?

Gary’s story - decide to be generous

Now a number of years ago, you were inspired by the words of Jesus and did something radically different. Can you tell us what you did?

Reflections on Gary’s story - is this crazy?

So has your life of radical generosity led you to be impoverished?

Are you being generous to earn favour with God?

We’re in the offices of PrimeValue an investment manager. Is it wrong to invest money? Or are you saying give it all away?

At what point is generosity irresponsibility?

The Big Question

So Gary, why be generous?