“Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”
There are numerous passages in the Bible about giving and they express the many benefits we receive in giving to others. There are two ways one can approach giving.
- One way can be with a clenched fist. This immediately reminds me of so many of my clients who are reluctant to let anything go. This process is emotionally, and at times, physically painful. It is likened to God prying our fingers slowly, one-at-a-time, until the giving is completed.
- Contrasted, one can give with an outstretched hand; freely giving to others, and in doing so, no pain is involved. The giver is filled with joy in the hopes that someone is better off for the giving.
Several years back, I read a story entitled “The Giving Cure.” This true story, by Cami Walker, tells of her journey with multiple sclerosis. One month after her wedding Cami was diagnosed with this dreaded disease and she spent a good deal of her time focusing within, as would be any normal human response. But in order to dig her way out of her pain and depression, a wise friend told her to adopt a prescription called 29 gifts in 29 days.
Her friend Mbali said, “Healing doesn’t happen in a vacuum, but through our interaction with other people. By giving, you are focusing on what you have to offer others, inviting more abundance into your life.” The gifts could be anything from a spare change to a kind word.
Here are just some expressions of giving:
- Start with gratitude. Write down what you’re most thankful for and make a point to share at least one item on your list.
- Keep it simple. Small gestures often make the biggest impact. Smile at a stranger, give a compliment, or buy someone lunch for no apparent reason.
- Receive graciously. Giving without receiving will deplete your energy. Remember to be receptive to what others are eager to share.
- Give up expectations. Let go of judgments about how your gift will be put to use. Once you’ve given it, your gift will take care of itself.
- Wing it. Resist the urge to plan all 29 gifts in one sitting. Stay open to the gift-giving opportunities that occur naturally throughout any given day.
Challenge yourself. What are you hesitant to give? Your time? Unconditional love? Ask yourself why and try to let those hang-ups go.
“A generous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed.”
-Proverbs 11:25-28 (NIV)