Why give? It's healthy!
This is another follow up from my goals list for 2015. It's an explanation or a "where am I now" with the goals that I set at the beginning of the year. If you don't remember my goals, you can find them here on a previous post.
The first of my goals is to give 10% more than I did last year. That's not a crazy goal. To give more is something I think many of us would like to be able to do. Money doesn't always seem to be there though does it? It's there probably more than you realize. I remember a time that my wife and I were looking to rent a house and the monthly rent was a bit more than we could afford and the very generous potential landlord said to me, 'It's not hard for money to come around, you set the price that you can afford'. We were blown away by that. Someone that didn't worry about money?!
I work in the ministry, it's no secret that most of those who work in the ministry don't make a ton of money. It's also no secret that much of the population live like it is better to receive than to give.
That old saying, it's better to give than receive has flip flopped and is a distant memory from today. I am encouraged however when I see others paying it forward.
Why give? Isn't this a health site? To answer the second question, it is but there is something very healthy about giving. It doesn't have to do with the tax write-off of giving. It doesn't even have to have anything to do with the church. Giving is good for the person, mind, and entire body.
Don't just take my word for it. Take this article for instance. Take this article too! And another. Actually, Google came up with result after result when I typed in "health benefits of giving" to the search bar. There must be something to this giving thing and the direct relation to physical and mental health.
I went through a study called '40 Day Spiritual Journey to a more Generous Life' a few years back. It's primary approach is obvious through the title. It used the Bible as the focus throughout the topic of giving. While many feel that the church is all about money, that's not true. The church does need money to pay the bills, aid and support missionaries, aid the community and the likes of that. I raise the question as to why we believe, church goer or not, our wallets are the only things that are called to give of? Why is it that we view those that need our help only in a financial manner?
I do believe in tithing and strive to give 10% more financially this year than last but I also hope to give much more of myself to those in need as well.
What does your community need? Think about that? What is it that your community could stand to benefit from? Is it trash clean-up at the park? Maybe it is volunteering at the soup kitchen, animal shelter, helping the elderly with yard work, visiting the nursing homes, sharing your skills for a project, writing grants for non-profits, making blankets for abused women shelters [so many kids go through those]. This is a never-ending list!
To be honest, if most of us were to consider how much time was spent serving someone else other than our family and friends last year, it wouldn't take much to give 10% more than last year. The art of serving other people exited the building several years ago but it's time to give back.
If the idea of giving simply to help another out doesn't work for you, think of the health benefits anyways. I know that is selfish to view it that way but if you are helping someone out selfishly or not - follow through.
I particularly like that the studies show that giving offers:
- better managed stress
- longer life expectancy
- better outlook of others
- stronger marriage
- better mental health
- more success
- a little more happiness at work
HOW DO YOU PLAN TO GIVE MORE THIS YEAR?
HOW CAN YOU INCLUDE YOUR FAMILY ON GIVING MORE THIS YEAR?