We make a living by what we get; we make a life by what we give. — Winston Churchill
These wise words spoken by Winston Churchill have so much truth to them; there is so much joy in giving. However, in a society that has become so self-centered, it is often hard to relate with this truth. Additionally, we live lives that are so busy that finding the time to even see the needs of others just does not seem feasible.
There have been various studies that demonstrate that generosity actually makes people happier. For example, a Harvard Business School study in 2008 demonstrated that spending money on others made participants happier than if they had spent it on themselves. According to a Time Magazine article published in 2017, generosity has been linked to better health in older people and even has helped reduce high blood pressure.
It is evident that generosity is actually beneficial for us in so many ways but our reason for giving should follow Our Heavenly Father’s example, He gave sacrificially for us because He loved us. He gave His one and only Son so that we could have everlasting life. We should always give to show His love and to make our world a better place for others.
Proverbs 11:24-25 MSG says
“The world of the generous gets larger and larger; the world of the stingy gets smaller and smaller. The one who blesses others is abundantly blessed; those who help others are helped.”
Our society tells us that the more we give the less that we will have but our Heavenly Father reminds us that math in His Kingdom is actually different, the more we give, the more we receive! We receive joy, blessings, and He always multiplies what we sow in the lives of others. A generous lifestyle gives us something that money cannot purchase; it gives us the ability to be an expression of His perfect love for others.
I think that our minds automatically link generosity to giving money but financial generosity is not the only way to give. You may be thinking, this all sounds wonderful but I don’t have enough money to pay my bills- how am I supposed to give to others? While we are called to bless others with everything we have, we can be generous with our talents and our time. That is also part of giving.
Here are 3 ways in which you can live a lifestyle of giving to others to make an impact and change the world around you!
Volunteer your time-
there are so many places where you can volunteer. Non-profit organizations always need people to serve in order to help them fulfill their mission. Gather a group of friends or co-workers and make it a habit to volunteer on a consistent basis.
Don’t know where to volunteer? If you attend a church, get involved there! Churches have multiple volunteering opportunities from investing in the lives of others to impacting the local community. Another great place to find volunteer opportunities is your local Volunteer Center. This is typically a non-profit agency that will help you find an Organization that aligns with your interests.
If you are unable to locate a Volunteer Center, here is a website you can use to search and contact nonprofits to help find the right volunteer opportunities for you: volunteermatch.com. You can enter your zip code and it will give you a list of places where you can volunteer your time and talent.
Shop from brands that give back-
In the past few years, multiple brands have emerged with beautiful products and the vision of contributing back to society. From artisan home décor to fair-trade jewelry, these companies exist to make an impact in our world. Here are a few of my favorite brands, check them out and I promise that you will be inspired:
Do random acts of kindness-
While established volunteering activities are great ways to get involved, we should live a lifestyle of kindness everyday. There are so many opportunities for us to give to others daily. Here are some examples:
- Mow the lawn or clean snow for your elderly neighbors.
- Pay for the person behind you at the drive thru.
- Bake some treats for your coworkers and bring them in to brighten their Monday.
- Write encouraging notes and leave them in random places- I am sure someone needs to read it!
- Make a meal for a family in need.
- Pick up litter at the park.
- Smile everywhere you go.
- Donate to the food bank.
Giving is contagious and it helps us make a difference. While the world often tells us that we cannot change the world, we can in fact change the world around us little by little. Let’s build a lifestyle of giving and thinking beyond ourselves.