How to be Generous in Adversity

Did you catch the NBA Finals? I was hooked! 

What a show of athleticism, perseverance and leadership. For Jaylen Brown and the Celtics, it was a tough loss. 

After Game 6, the players were interviewed, and I was struck by Brown’s outlook. He reflected that adversity is actually a positive:  

“The future is bright. I always look at adversity as opportunities to shape an individual… For me, it’s always about growth. Continuing to get better, continuing to find different ways to lead.”

It had me wondering: How did David and, later on, Jesus handle adversity?

For David, he was charged with preparing God’s temple but was told he wouldn’t be the one to build it.  Instead of pouting, in 1 Chronicles 29, David led preparations and personally donated over 110 tons of gold. And his generosity inspired the people to contribute over 185 tons of gold.

In Jesus’ case, we get a picture of the adversity He was dealing with in Luke 22. Jesus was under so much anguish, His sweat was like drops of blood!

Instead of retreating, however, He followed through with the greatest act of generosity of all time: giving His life on the cross to save us. Since then, for over 2,000 years, Christians all over the world have put their faith and trust in Jesus as the Way, the Truth, and the Life.

Do you have adversity in your life today?  Are you concerned by what you hear on the news and see in your community? If so, here are some ideas to turn it around—and lead like David and Jesus with a heart of generosity toward others:

  1. If you’re financially stable, tip with a 2x mindset when you head out for dinner. If your bill is $50, tip $50. You can change someone’s day and outlook with this simple act of kindness.
  2. If you’re retired, find a young couple nearby and offer free babysitting for the next month. You might just help save a marriage on the edge with inflation, kids and life.
  3. If you’re a business owner (with a strong balance sheet and cashflow), pay it forward by offering discounts instead of price hikes. Set a new tone based on how God’s economy works. 
  4. If you’re a recent empty nester, consider downsizing to free up money for Kingdom work in your community. Tell God, “show me and I’ll do it.” He has big plans for you!
  5. If you’re young, stay variable and delay major purchases for a year. Find a Christian cause you’re into and start giving to it. You can be the difference in someone finding their way to Jesus.

In times of adversity, we can change the narrative. We can flip the script. 

Live, lead and be generous like Jesus. Guaranteed, the future will be bright. For you and everyone else around you.

Keep charging for Christ,

Brandon Sieben

CEO, Compass Global


After nearly three years in a mentoring relationship with Founder and Chairman Howard Dayton, Brandon joined Compass-finances God’s Way as president and CEO in September 2019. Brandon graduated with a B.S. in finance from the University of Illinois and an MBA from the University of Iowa; and also studied international business at the Universidad de Alicante in Spain, and Latin American business and culture at the Instituto de Idioma Español in Cuernavaca, Mexico. Brandon and his wife, Deb, are actively involved in ministry in their local church and community. They have three daughters, Kay, Nina, and Georgia, and currently reside in Iowa City, Iowa.