There’s something about giving that frees us. It releases a part of us that has been tucked away, yearning to be exposed and shared with others in ways that add meaning and value to their lives. And in so doing, we also add meaning and value to our own.
Many of us are generous at heart, but get consumed by our daily hectic schedules and life’s demands. We often forget why we’re really here: “to love one another, as God has loved us.” But when we remember, giving comes easily, as a natural extension of ourselves.
Others of us may have a desire to give, but don’t feel we can “afford to.” You may be thinking, “How can I give when I’m barely making it myself?” But when we really take a good look at our lives, we realize how blessed we are, even those of us who seemingly have the least.
The more blessed we realize we are, the more we realize we have to give. Then it’s just a matter of taking action. Remember, when a hand is closed, nothing goes out or comes in. When we open our hearts and hands to give, not only are we sharing from God’s abundant blessings in our lives, we’re making room for more.
When we share with others, blessings increasingly show up in our lives—sometimes from the ones we’ve shared with or sometimes from someone totally different. Regardless of the source, the gift always returns to us—often in a different form and many-fold.
When we think of giving, we often think of gifts of money and material possessions. These are useful gifts especially to those really in need of them, but there are also numerous other gifts we can give such as our time, talents, compassion, encouragement, i.e., the gift of ourselves. Another word for this type of gift is service, and, when you think about it, what greater gift could we possibly give than that?
In his book The Purpose Driven Life, Rick Warren says, “God determines your greatness by how many people you serve, not how many people serve you.” He shares the following ideas for being a real servant by increasingly giving to others—especially the gift of ourselves.
Maybe you’re already doing a good job of giving and serving. Chances are you can still give a lot more. After all, you need to do something with the abundance of blessings that are probably flowing into your life right now because you give so much.
If giving does not come easily for you—whether because or your circumstances or lack of desire—make today your turning point. It’s never too late to make a difference in the life of someone else.
When you do, God will bless you more for it—just as he promised when he said: “For if you give, you will get! Your gift will return to you in full and overflowing measure, pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, and running over. Whatever measure you use to give—large or small—will be used to measure what is given back to you” (Luke 6:38).
Cynthia Legette Davis is author of the books, "Peace Be Still: Inner Healing for Racial Harmony," its companion workbook, "Peace and Racial Harmony Inside Out," and "I Know How You Feel." All are available on Amazon.com. She is also founder of LeisureFun.net, an online guide to events in South Carolina.