IN THE BOOK OF ACTS, Paul quoted Jesus as having said that it is more blessed to give than receive but how can this be? The word “blessed” here was originally “makarios,” which means to be fortunate. So Paul and Jesus were saying the giver is more fortunate than the receiver. But doesn’t it seem like that the more you have, the more “blessed” you are?
GIVERS ARE HAPPIER IN LIFE
A 2002 survey of 30,000 Americans showed that those who gave to charity, whether financially or in the form of volunteer work, were far happier than non-givers. It is almost like the more you give away cheerfully, the more you have to give away. The cheerful aspect is a HUGE component in all of this. If a person gives out of a sense of obligation and resentment, no happiness comes to them from it and they are robbed of their “blessing” or status of being fortunate.
WHEN WE ARE CHEERFUL, WE ARE ALSO COURAGEOUS
Giving is an act of courage and courage is an act of faith. Jesus told his disciples, “Be of good CHEER.” The word cheer here literally translates into ancient Greek as COURAGE. So, every time we choose to be cheerful, we demonstrate an act of courage.
The great speaker, Wayne Dyer, said that one of the secrets to having contentment in life was to want more for others than you want for yourself, to wish good on them more than you wish it upon yourself. He said that if you want peace in your life, then wish for and pray for others to have peace. If you have an addiction and want to be free of it, wish for, pray for and hope for others to be free from addiction. If you wish to be financially blessed, want others to be even more so. Living this way requires courage and brings joy.
That seems so contradictory to the “me first” mentality of greed. But if the whole world, or even 20% of the world, lived by those rules then there would be far less pain in the world, far less need. Instead of struggling to survive, people could explore and learn and there is no telling what the human mind and spirit could accomplish. It would be like the thousand years spoken of by Isaiah the Prophet where people beat their swords into plowshares and instead of killing each other, they feed each other. Instead of stealing from each other, they give to each other. Sounds like a good place to live to me. I believe greed is born of fear and giving is born of courage.
CHEEFUL GIVING IS A DEMONSTRATION OF LOVE
One could say that giving is how I Am demonstrates love toward us. Jesus, in speaking to Nicodemus said, “For God so loved the world that He gave….” He gave. When the Israelites were wandering in the desert God gave them water. God gave them food. They got fearful and greedy and tried to hoard it so it spoiled on them (because they tried to circumvent one of the spiritual laws of the universe), but nevertheless, he GAVE. Giving is the nature of God. The true nature of the Great I Am. Giving is an extension of love and according to John, God is Love. (1 John 4:8)
GIVING DEMONSTRATES CONFIDENCE IN GOD’S ABILITIES
Our willingness to give demonstrates our view of I Am’s ability to provide for us. If we hoard and are fearful of tomorrow, of not having enough, we communicate that we doubt there are enough “riches in glory” to provide for our needs. Being fearful of giving demonstrates a lack of confidence in God’s approval of and love of us, in LOVE’s identity. In demonstrate doubt in I Am’s, Jehovah Jireh’s, the Almighty Source’s, Klongliwiha, The Great Spirit’s, He Who Never Dies’, ability to provide what we need when we need it. Jesus addressed this by talking about the birds of the air and the lilies of the fields. That doesn’t mean we should never have a bank account or a savings plan, only that we not be so stingy that we can’t “share” out of our abundance.
The Tao Te Ching talks about how the wise person, the person of virtue, gives out of his or her abundance or excess. If I have two coats, I can afford to give one away without being fearful of life without that extra coat because I might “need it someday.” The key to being fortunate, in all areas of life, according to Jesus, Mother Teresa, Gandhi, Lao Tzu, Apostle Paul, Saint John, Saint Francis, Wayne Dyer, the Dali Lama and every other spiritually attuned deity, person or teacher, is to cast fortune on others. They can’t ALL be wrong!
GIVING IS CONTAGIOUS
I love the movie, Pay it Forward, where the little boy comes up with the idea of doing good deeds for others with “pay back” being “paying forward.” I give to you and you don’t pay me back, you give to someone else. I do good to you and you do good for someone else.
So many people give but secretly, subconsciously, keep score and hidden contracts with the thought somewhere in the back of their minds, “I’ve done this for him (or her) now he will do things my way.” That’s not giving. That’s bartering. I’ve heard so many people say, “I can’t believe he’d do that after ALL I’VE DONE FOR HIM.” Or “Can you believe she said that to me after how nice I’VE BEEN TO HER?” These are hidden contracts. If you give expecting performance, you’ve already missed the boat. Giving should be for the soul purpose of making another’s life a little better. If you don’t WANT to give for the pure joy of doing it, then you’re better off not to give at all. Paul said to give cheerfully, no begrudgingly. Expect nothing in return and receive everything from a Source far greater than you can imagine.
SOMETHINGS ARE SO EASY TO GIVE
A smile, the touch of a hand, a word of encouragement, a note, a card, a smiley face, a cup of coffee, a piece of fruit, a moment of laughter, a joke. It merely takes an act of courage, of getting outside ourselves, and being a cheerful giver.
***MY SHAMELESS PROMOTION CAMPAIGN—I’ve written a new novel and I want to GIVE it to others, so I’ve made it available online here: https://walkabouthenovel.wordpress.com The ONLY thing I want in return is for YOU to read it and enjoy it:) Oh, and if you want to share it with others, that’s okay, too. Every writer wants readers, every painter wants viewers, every cook wants people with appetites…when you do what you love and love what you do, you just want to share it.