The practice of generosity defines the core values of real estate entrepreneur Chris Graeve. His Christian faith inspires his devotion to helping others. As a Christian, he appreciates fully the lesson of generosity and hopes to experience greater joy as he continues to share his knowledge, time, and resources for the betterment of others. He recognizes God’s generosity in all things and strives to follow this divine example and put into practice Biblical principles.
Generosity Goes Beyond Money
The phrase “practice generosity” is apt because Christian teachings acknowledge that generosity reflects a work in progress. Even generous people can always find more ways to increase the blessings of others. Generosity encompasses more than simply sharing money with the needy although financial contributions play an important role.
Beyond financing charitable projects, generosity also includes giving personal time. Investing individual attention toward nurturing relationships with family members and friends presents an example of generosity with time.
This generosity of time and knowledge extends into Christopher Graeve’s business dealings as well. As the leader of RE-build Properties and Christopher Robin Real Estate, he serves as a mentor to his employees and operators. Although he has enjoyed success within the real estate business, he knows that his success ultimately came from the generous actions of others, starting with his father who introduced him to the business.
Opening the Heart
Being generous with people in close proximity represents the first step in any Christian’s giving journey. Treating those within the immediate community in unselfish and helpful ways forms the training ground for generosity in the wider world.
By supporting other causes beyond his local church, Chris Graeve understands that he can avoid becoming mastered by his possessions. He takes to heart the Gospel of Luke that warns of “the rich young ruler” who cannot follow Jesus because he places a greater value on his amassed wealth.
In contrast to the wealthy ruler, Luke 19:8 describes the transformation of the tax collector whose heart was changed by his encounter with Jesus. He learned to give to the poor instead of extract taxes from them. Luke described how the radical encounter with Jesus opened his heart to receiving the forgiveness of God and the ultimate gift of Jesus Himself, which then resulted in giving to others.
Participating in God’s Work
Chris Graeve takes such Biblical lessons seriously. They motivate him to expand his generosity. He strives not only to be generous with his resources but to teach others that the blessings of generosity will come to those who practice it.
He also understands that giving should not be done out of a desire for praise for kind actions. Humility in giving presents the highest goal because giving is its own greatest reward, which was famously recorded in Acts 20:35 in the words “It is more blessed to give than to receive.”
If giving reaches the level of sacrifice, then a person has demonstrated trust in God. The sacrifice will become joy because the giver has experienced a deeper relationship with Christ that comes through practicing sacrificial giving.
The giver, however, must not consider the sacrifice a form of suffering. God admires most those who give cheerfully for their actions illustrate the highest good. Giving brings happiness to the heart because the generous person has participated in the work of God.
The Central Role of Community
The concept of community forms an important part of the Christian faith, and community leads into the concept of stewardship. Followers of Christ must act in ways that preserve and uplift the community. The world that God has provided is not owned by people. They are instead stewards of the creation and must treat all aspects of it with generosity.
Stewards take responsibility for helping and nurturing the people and resources within their community. By seeing himself as a steward, Christopher Graeve can model servant leadership to his company and make wise financial decisions. He does not pursue personal gain but rather the gain of all people around him. He believes that God rewards good stewards with responsibility over more things. Stewardship creates wealth for the benefit of all because in the end no one can take any worldly possessions with them to Heaven. Everything belongs to God at all times.
Faith directs Christians to radically share their resources within their community to prevent the neediness of any member. This principle gives people a community to rely upon as well as maintain through generous works. They live within a rhythm of giving, and Chris Graeve knows that his contributions within this virtuous rhythm create opportunities for others.