One thing that I'm constantly stressing on this site is the importance of finding a reason why you're building wealth, having an end goal that you're striving towards. Having wealth be your be-all end-all goal often ends up with people finding discontent and unhappiness. Money just can't satisfy, and you can never have enough, it just leaves an empty hole.
The one who loves money is never satisfied with money, Nor the one who loves wealth with big profits. More smoke. Ecclesiastes 5:10 – The Message
Building wealth just to have wealth ends up being meaningless and un-fulfilling, but using the money you've been given by God for positive and unselfish reasons can have a positive impact not only on your life, but on the lives of others.
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Giving Can Have A Bigger Impact Than You Realize
While just building wealth or hording our earnings can have a corrosive effect, giving to others in need – or even just those in need of a pick me up can have a ripple effect.
This morning I was feeling tired, worn and just a little bit down after hearing about the events surrounding the massively destructive tornado that touched down in Oklahoma City area yesterday afternoon. Hearing about these families that in an instant lost loved ones, many of them small children, was so hard to listen to. I'm not ashamed to admit that I teared up hearing their stories on the news last night. Tragedies like this storm can leave more questions than answers sometimes, and the enormity of it all can leave you feeling a bit depressed.
On my way to work I stopped for coffee at the drive through of our local Caribou Coffee. I ordered a small coffee and a scone to go, and pulled up to the window to pay. When I got there I pulled my debit card out, but the lady at the window told me that my order was already paid for. The woman in front of me, who was already gone, had paid for my coffee and pastry. She said the lady said to say, “Have a wonderful day, and God bless!”.
This anonymous lady's small gesture brightened my morning, and gave me a more positive outlook on my day. In turn it also made me want to pay it forward and return the favor to someone else.
So to that lady; thanks for making my day a little bit better! You inspired the blog post for today, and hopefully that will inspire someone else to give!
Giving Helps The Giver As Well
Giving doesn't only help the person receiving the gift, but it also has a positive effect for the giver. Studies have actually documented the positive effects.
Helping others can not only make us feel good about ourselves; it can also increase our physical well-being. The mind and body aren’t separate. Anything we do to elevate our spirits will also have a beneficial effect on our health. A recent study by Cornell University found that volunteering increases a person’s energy, sense of mastery over life, and self-esteem. Other studies have demonstrated that such positive feelings can actually strengthen and enhance the immune system. Positive emotions increase the body’s number of T-cells, cells in the immune system that help the body resist disease and recover quickly from illness. Positive emotions also release endorphins into the bloodstream. Endorphins are the body’s natural tranquilizers and painkillers; they stimulate dilation of the blood vessels, which leads to a relaxed heart.
Giving helps us to fell better about ourselves, to elevate our spirits and even to improve our health. Nothing to complain about there!
Giving As An Act of Gratitude And Evidence Of A Changed Life
As a Christian, giving is also something that I'm called to do as evidence of the change Christ has brought about in me. It's an act of gratitude to our Savior, and it helps us to respect God's ownership, and how we are merely stewards of what he has given us.
Rob Kuban discusses why Christians should give:
Christians give because Christ is in them. Simple as that. Our Savior is the essence of generosity. He is alive in us and the desire to bless others is only a natural expression of His power in our hearts. Certainly, our giving respects God’s ownership, brings us joy, teaches us things, and helps those less fortunate than us, but these are only branches not the Vine. Christ, the very author of “It is better to give than to receive” is continuing His work and manifesting Himself and His power through His people.
Small Acts Of Kindness With Big Impact
Finding ways to give in our everyday lives, in big ways – and in small ways – can improve our outlook on life and help us impact the lives of others for good.
So what are some small ways that you can give to others in your everyday life?
- Buy someone else's meal or coffee when you're going through the drive through.
- Someone short of cash at the grocery store or gas station? Cover part of their bill for them.
- Give your church or a local charity.
- Volunteer at a local food shelf or soup kitchen.
- Give an extra large tip for waitstaff that have gone out of their way for you, or who look like they're having a bad day.
- Spend time with older folks at a local nursing facility.
- Work with others on service projects. Our church does things like single mother oil changes, raking leaves for older folks and giving rides to people who don't have a car.
Making giving an every day part of our lives has the potential to change lives, not only those who we are giving to, but our own lives as well.
Have other ideas of ways to give in your everyday life? Leave us ideas in the comments!