Have you ever known a really generous person? How did you know? What makes them stand out?
When I think of a generous person, a giving person, a man named George Müller comes to mind. He lived a life of generosity that was a tremendous example to those who knew him and depended on him, and he can certainly inspire us today. He was a Christian evangelist and Director of the Ashley Down orphanage in Bristol, England, and cared for 10,024 orphans in his life. He was well known for providing an education to the children under his care, and he also established 117 schools which offered Christian education to over 120,000 children.
Wow. What a man. What a holy, holy life he lived. Well, eventually he was . . .
“His early life was not marked by righteousness – on the contrary, he was a thief, a liar and a gambler.
What happened? His father wanted him to become a clergyman, a position that could have provided him a healthy income in that culture, and sent him to divinity school. And guess what? God was there and somehow got through to George and changed his heart.
Müller wrote frequently about the stewardship of money and the non-reliance on earthly riches, and how God would bless the man who kept to these principles, and felt that laying his own experiences bare would prove the truth of his claims. His personal income, from unsolicited gifts (he refused any kind of salary) rose from £151 in 1831 to more than £2,000 in 1870. However, he retained only around £300 a year for himself and his family, the rest he gave away.
But what was it—REALLY—with Georg Müller? He loved God and offered the best that he had.