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.
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!
I was very ill for quite some time and although I had little to no support from friends and family, I DID have amazing people, professionals and complete strangers help me in a multitude of ways. I was never without anything during that time and previously. I was always well looked after. Christmas 2012, was the first time that I started to feel better and recover from my illnesses. I found out by accident that a neighbor had very little and although I had very little money, I was able to get food and some other things that he may have needed and had it delivered to him through the church. After Christmas, I started making “wash kits”, consisting of a nice washcloth that I made, soap, shampoo, tooth paste, tooth brush, lip balm etc. I’ve since delivered kits to various places that helped me out or that there are homeless people or others in need of the most basic things. It is an absolute honor and privilege for me to be able to do this. I don’t have a great deal of money, but I have so much.
Free Money Minute says
I have found that giving a listening ear to your co-workers can have a positive impact on the challenges that they are facing in their everyday lives. Many of us are busy and stressed these days and think we are facing the world’s problems alone. Listening and sharing similar stories in your life can help other’s perspectives. You do not have to go anywhere special to do this, just slow down and take some time each and every day as you go about your daily activities.
DC @ Young Adult Money says
One time I did pay for the person behind me at McDonalds and it felt WAY better than I thought it would. Seriously made my day, and that was me paying for theirs. We are supporting our friend who is going to Japan for something like 5 years as a missionary. Very proud of her for making such a commitment and trusting God in it all. We are giving $20/month, but man…if we didn’t have student loans and/or made more money and were able to give more each month that would be such a great feeling to be able to bless her.
I also love giving “good” tips at restaurants because I think that it really blesses the waiter/waitress and they value it more than we think.
I don’t personally like donating to organizations that I think will spend way more of the $ than they give to people who need it. A few years ago I found a “helping hearts and hands” charity that is run all by volunteers and every single cent you give goes right to the person in need, There was a 76 year old woman (her husband had just died, he had done all the finances) and she was about to be booted out of her apt. We were able to give her the $ she needed to stay in her apt until she could get her SS worked out – otherwise she would have been homeless. Best $ I ever spent – with the possible exception of the $ we spent sending care packages to our troops. One guy that we had been sending 3 packages a week to for well over a year finally sent us a letter saying that he had been “sent everywhere” and he was seriously sad and discouraged and thinking that no one cared about him (’cause his “family” actually didn’t) and he said when he got back to his base his Sgt did the mail call and called him up and when he saw all those packages/letters he and all his buds had a party and just threw packages out to whoever caught them. He said it was the best night he’d ever had and he sent us a very heart-felt letter to that effect. Guess what? We’ve never thought about, let alone missed, one of those dimes. Definnitely pay it forward.
Eric Pulsifer says
One of my favorites costs nothing but a little time and maybe a few brain cells, but I like the smiles it brings.
1) Shop at your favorite big-box store, though this can be applied anywhere — grocery store, restaurant, convenience store, etc.
2) Find the employee who really needs a good laugh.
3) Stand and deliver.
Value: Priceless. Brightening someone’s day is a lot of fun, and you can’t put a price tag on a smile.