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Create a Generous Spirit

Christian stewardship starts with small acts of kindness

Most goals in life, from health to finances, take hard work, perseverance and commitment. Sounds daunting, doesn't it? Well, it doesn't have to be. Not if you take it just one small step at a time.

That's especially true when it comes to acts of generosity. While it's fun to envision making a difference in a big, bold way, often it's the little acts of kindness that are easiest to achieve. We talked to experts and asked Thrivent Financial's friends on Facebook for ideas on how to be more generous in our daily lives.

Look for moments to help

Take a small step with your attitude: "Enter into your day anticipating you'll have the opportunity to be generous with someone," says Steve Wagner, executive leader of the Dallas-based Pastoral Leadership Institute. "God will present you with that opportunity."

Say a prayer

Thrivent Facebook friend Linda Dybwad prays for those she sees in need. "Ask God what you are supposed to do for them, then do it."

Create a prayer 'spot'

Put a small sticky dot on your cell phone or wristwatch. Then, every time you see the dot, take a moment to thank God for a blessing you've received.

Make a small financial sacrifice

Every Monday for just one month, take $5 from your wallet and put it in an envelope. Take your lunch to work an extra day or make fewer trips to the coffee shop to make up that amount in your personal budget. At the end of the month, donate the money in the envelope to a group that you respect but isn't usually on your charitable giving list.

Give your time

Linda Kaplan, a Thrivent Facebook friend, believes it's important to volunteer time with a group or cause you believe in. Thrivent chapters organize community activities year-round. To get involved, enter your ZIP code into the Locate a Chapter (Link opens in new window) application. Or start a Thrivent Action Team. It just takes an idea and a few minutes to fill out a form, and you'll get a resource kit and seed money to turn your idea into action.

If you're looking for other volunteer ideas, Stacey Stewart, U.S. president of United Way Worldwide, recommends going to sites like (Link opens in new window) or (Link opens in new window). Simply plug in your ZIP code, and volunteer and mentor opportunities will appear before you.

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