Just as the miracle of nature effortlessly produces the beauty of its surroundings, you have been provided with and hold the power to effortlessly attract and create YOUR desired miracles in each and every area of your life if only you will trust, surrender and “allow” it to be so.
– Chuck Danes
Today, I would like to talk about giving.
This is one of the most powerful and influential behaviors that you can surrender to, in your life.
There are many ways and reasons to give. Some are pure in heart, other reasons may be driven by the desire to “leverage” someone or something by your generosity.
Whatever the reason for your generosity, giving is definitely a power to be reckoned with.
Giving is one of the greatest sources of happiness and satisfaction known to humankind.
Have you ever wondered why that is?
For some reason there seems to be an undeniable connection between our own happiness and our willingness to contribute to others?
We are in fact actually hardwired with this connection.
Giving on any level just naturally makes us feel good inside.
Case in point, have you ever met a philanthropist who was sad or depressed?
And why do you suppose that volunteers often seem to enjoy their work more than some who get paid for doing the same thing?
My life DRAMATICALLY improved almost immediately when I began to offer my time and talents to others so that I could make a difference in the community that I live in.
One of the highlights of my life will always be the Zombie Fun Run that Brenda and I organized last year to help the Boys and Girls Club of America get established in our area.
I met people who I would never have otherwise met.
Seen a side of myself that I didn’t know existed.
And was a part of something wonderful and exciting.
A person who practices philanthropy doesn’t ask “What’s in it for me?” Instead of selfish pursuits, they are more concerned with making a positive difference in someone else’s life.
They are happy because happiness is a byproduct of giving from the heart.
If we buy into the idea that happiness can be pursued directly through a selfish “Whats in it for me” mentality, we will come up short every time.
Oh, we may get some pleasure from the things we acquire…
but that deep sense of satisfaction we are looking for will continue to elude us.
Contrary to popular opinion; the rewards of selfish pursuits are extremely limited and empty.
We all have a need to serve a greater cause than ‘self,’ whether we are aware of it or not.
Deep down, it is part of our nature to want to help others, to make a positive difference in their lives.
We are commanded in scripture to Be generous.
The following passages are good examples of the way we should conduct ourselves around others.
(Matthew 25:34-36) 34“Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. 35For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in;36naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.”
(Job 31:32) 32 “but no stranger had to spend the night in the street, for my door was always open to the traveler.”
(Isaiah 58:7) 7 “Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter– when you see the naked, to clothe them, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?”
Sometimes, this can be a difficult concept to grasp, especially if we are struggling to meet our own needs.
That’s because struggle and lack can obscure our appreciation for the happiness associated with giving.
In reality, the ability to make a meaningful contribution to the lives of others does not depend on our financial circumstances.
At the time when I was organizing the Zombie Fun Run, my financial situation was a disaster. I had just had a person, who I thought was a close friend steal $1,200.00 from me. That is a lot of money for me. This betrayal set me back financially for several months.
But, looking back, it was the very act of giving to my community that enabled me to get through that difficult time and not lose myself in the process.
I want to stop here for just a moment and make clear a very profound truth…
Compulsory giving out of a sense of obligation is not the same as giving from the heart.
There is always plenty to go around when you are giving from your hearts abundance!
Something as simple as the gift of a sincere smile can mean a lot to someone who is feeling down.
How about spending time visiting an elderly person?
What about helping a mother trying to manage her children, load their groceries into their car?
Think that might make a significant difference in their day?
Many children grow up having spent very little one-on-one time with their parents as individuals.
Giving of your time is a gift of incomparable value to your children.
The point is, when you are willing to give from the abundance of your heart there is never any shortage of gifts or lack of opportunities.
The idea that we are obligated to give at certain times and in certain ways has distorted the whole concept of giving.
Which would you rather receive – a gift from the heart, or one that came from a sense of obligation and social pressure?
Do you believe that when you expand your heart that you will experience greater happiness?
Once we begin to experiment with different ways of helping others we may discover a wide array of surprising benefits.
Helping others is always a worthwhile pursuit all on its own, and that’s how we should view it.
But in reality, most forms of giving also include receiving on some level.
That’s because there is a special kind of satisfaction that comes only through giving.
In fact I don’t believe it is possible to experience a deeply satisfying and fulfilling life without a personal commitment to contributing to others in positive ways.
Happiness is the byproduct of giving from the heart!
We can expect to experience a powerful internal transformation once we embrace the role of a giver.
It automatically initiates a quantum shift in our values and beliefs.
Our perception of what is important in life takes on a new dimension and our concept of reality begins to expand around the desire to help others.
I believe that is why there are numerous scriptures on this very subject, and why Jesus embraced this throughout his entire life.
A willingness to contribute should always be fueled by an unselfish desire to give without any thought of getting something in return.
Even so, those you help will often express gratitude.
Once your heart is touched by the grateful appreciation of another, I bet that like me, you will become hooked on giving.
The experience of receiving on that level expands your heart and changes your sense of identity.
In some very tangible and amazing ways, giving is truly a gift that bring greater happiness to everyone involved.
Has the gift of a smile ever touched your heart?
The lines are open!