Blog » Learning to Give
- 2012-08-20 05:00:00
Our generosity to God and others not only touches God and other people; it also changes us. As human beings, we were created with the need to be generous. When we are not generous in giving of what we have, we have not only a financial problem but also a spiritual problem.
To use a somewhat graphic yet extremely effective analogy, it is as if we have become financially and spiritually constipated. We keep taking in, but we’re not giving out. After a while, it becomes uncomfortable and causes us pain. Sometimes we may not even realize what is happening. We’re taking in, but it is not satisfying us because we were not made to take in and never give anything back. We were created for generosity. Over time, we become self-absorbed, money-consumed, joyless people. This is what a lifetime of financial and spiritual constipation looks like: joylessness.
The only way to find relief is to learn to give. When we are generous—to God and to our families, friends, neighbors, and others who are in need—our hearts are filled with joy. They are enlarged by the very act of giving. When we give generously, we become more generous. That is how generosity works.
In the beginning, we may be hesitantly generous. We may be reluctant. But something happens to us in the midst of our giving, and we find ourselves becoming more generous. In this respect, generosity is similar to love and gratitude. Sometimes we may not feel love, but when we choose to act in loving ways, loving feelings begin to flow. Sometimes we may not feel like giving thanks, but the best way to cultivate a heart of gratitude is to give thanks in all circumstances. Likewise, the more we give, the more generous our hearts become.
Generosity changes us, filling us with joy and filling our lives with blessings. When we are generous with what we have, we find that unexpected blessings flow back into our lives, catching us by surprise. Somewhere along the way, as we see our acts of generosity helping others and perhaps even changing the world, we say in wonder and amazement, “Wow, look what happened,” and we find ourselves blessed. What’s more, as our generosity blesses others, they are changed, too.
(adapted from Enough: Discovering Joy Through Simplicity and Generosity)
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