This morning we continue our series entitled, “The Power of Fellowship.” For the last few days we have been looking at Acts 20:35, where the Apostle Paul quoted Jesus. Paul tells us that Jesus said: “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” Another translation reads, “You will have a greater blessing when you give than when you receive.” For the last few days I have been giving you 3 reasons (per day) why it is better to give than to receive, within the context of this series. Today I will give you 3 more.
So what does this mean to you today? Here are a few reasons why there is a special blessing associated with giving.
1. Giving is contagious.
When you give towards others you should be doing so because you are led of God to do it. But one of the great benefits that is has in the life of the person receiving the blessing is that it often creates a desire in their hearts to want to pay-it-forward. I will give you two examples: one from my life and the other from the life of my wife.
I have benefited greatly from good mentorship. God gave me favor with great leaders. These were people who saw things in me that were worth investing in and they helped me become the man I am today. So what do I do with that investment? As a recipient of great mentorship, I have always had to heart to want to BE a mentor. Why? Because the best way to honor the investment people made in me is by paying-it-forward and making that investment in others. I routinely take the things that have been poured into me, and freely pour them into others. I do this from the heart and it has a great deal to do with the fact that others did it for me from their hearts.
In the case of my wife, Isabella, I will take it to the more traditional sense of giving. Isabella grew up very poor on the island of Dominica. She often went and stood in line to receive gifts from missionaries. Fast forward many years and she is now Missionary going back to the Caribeean, bringing gifts to the less fortunate. Her heart is in her giving. I will give you an example from something that happened a couple of years ago during one of our annual back to school drives in the Dominican Republic. So there we were, handing out backpacks with school supplies. This particular day we were supposed to give out 150 backpacks. However, 152 children showed up. When we got to the end of the line and the last two little boys were standing there, without backpacks, and Isabella heard that they had walked several kilometers to get there, hoping to go home with a backpack, Isabella lost it (emotionally). I calmed her down and assured her that we would take care of the boys, which we did. Later on, after the incident, Isabella explained to our team that the reason she reacted that way was because her maiden name starts with the letter T. In Dominica, as a child, she remembers arriving at the Missionary tents, only to be arranged in alphabetical order. Several times, the Missionaries ran out of supplies before they got to her and she had to walk home, sometimes many kilometers, with nothing in her hands. The sting of those occasions, and the joy of the ones when she received something, both fuel her desire to pay-it-forward today. Giving is contagious. When you are a blessing to someone today, chances are that the person you are being is a blessing to will perpetuate your giving some day.
2. Giving helps give your life meaning.
When you live to give and you place your life in God’s hands, as an offering, ready to be poured out into the lives of others in this world, your life takes on divine purpose. You can say you are living with purpose, and you can tell yourself that you are not selfish, but it is not until you actually become generous (in your actions), that the selfless nature of God fills your heart. And once you start living this way, you’ll find that giving will define you more profoundly than you previously thought possible. God is a giver. The closer you get to Him, the more you will want to give.
3. Giving helps you overcome depression.
Mental health is a huge challenge for many in the world today. People all over the world, especially young people, are struggling with depression. They are not comfortable in their own skin. They cannot be still. They don’t like to be without some sort of stimulus. When they are all by themselves and they look in the mirror, they don’t like what they see. Self-hatred is a terrible thing, especially for a child of God. One contributing aspect to cycles of depression is the feeling of isolation. The people I am talking about can be in a room filled with people and they still feel all alone. They have a hard time making true connections. Giving helps with that. When you give towards others it helps you to see them, and connect with them, in a special way. It also helps you connect with yourself and your divine nature. The amazing thing is that the more selfless you become, the more you appreciate self. The more you give your life away, the more you appreciate the life you have. This is the nature of God. God is a giver and His heart is in His giving. When you start giving you embrace the heart of God and it starts to change you from the inside-out. This is much needed in the world today!
Declaration of Faith:
Father, You are a giver. I am Your child. Therefore, I am a giver and my heart is in my giving. You arranged it for others to BE a blessing to me. I am now blessed TO BE a blessing to others. I take the blessings You have poured into my life, and I pour them into the lives of others. Giving helps me live with purpose. Giving helps me appreciate the life You gave given me. The more I give my life away, the more I enjoy the life I have. This is Your nature and now it is mine! I declare this by faith! In Jesus’ name, Amen!
This is Today’s Word. Apply it and prosper!