Giving Back

Kodak 2010-11 115Sharing our good fortune or prosperity with others, a way to be thankful

Happiness doesn’t result from what we get, but from what we give.  Ben Carson

Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth.  Muhammad Ali

The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.  Mahatma Gandhi

The phrase “Giving Back” portrays an attitude of gratitude and thankfulness. Those that give back, are those that are very aware of being blessed, well-off, favored, lucky or advantaged. They have an attitude that leads them to share their good fortune with others. Those choosing to give back may even feel an obligation to do so.

We tend to think those who give back are those that are well-off or even rich. This may be true in many cases. There are those that give back who may only be moderately well-off or maybe not even that. Some people are inclined to feel that they should or even must share what they have with others. There are others who would only consider “giving” if they knew that will receive something in return. In many cases we are likely inclined to do as we were taught or influenced by others such as our parents. We may have good intentions or a “want to”.

Giving back as perhaps a philosophy or a principle, if widely practiced would have an immense and very positive influence in this world. It would be up there with the significance and “good doing capability” of the Golden Rule. In many respects this could be said to be a “close cousin” of the Golden Rule. Most of us will have nothing negative to say about the goodness of giving back. Most of have had some experience with giving back. It probably was a very good experience for us. It does not mean that we necessarily practice giving back. There is always that idea of good intentions. Most of us tend to have good intentions. We have problems putting our intentions into action. If the vast majority of those of us who are capable of giving back actually engaged in giving back what would that look like? If we combine Giving Back with the Golden Rule and the majority of us were to make it our nature to do these things; the nature of this world would change dramatically.

When it gets down to it, each of us has a responsibility to do what we can to make this world a better place. If each of us did just engaged in doing a little, those little things would add up. If we do what we can, it may influence others to do what that can. It will build on itself.

Challenge: Consider challenging yourself to give back regularly, even daily. Become increasingly aware of looking for opportunities to find ways to give back. It does not have to be things that are more than you are comfortable with. Start small and the rest will take care of itself. Most of the time you will be the one who most likely benefits the most. Try to develop more and more an attitude of gratitude and thankfulness in the process.

Wisdom: For it is in giving that we receive. Francis of Assisi

Spiritual:

The fruit of righteousness will be peace; the effect of righteousness will be quietness and confidence forever. Isaiah 32:17

Humility and the fear of the Lord bring wealth and honor and life. Proverbs 22:4

 And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Col 3:7

The world is full of selfishness, self-interest, greed, and “looking out for #1”. Many of us are always wanting more and more. Instant gratification can describe us pretty well. The Bible teaches we should be grateful for what we have and be willing to share our good fortune with others. If we adopt a “giving back” approach to life, we will be blessed even more. This is a very strong theme and message in the Bible. God blesses us for giving.

Prayer: Help me to overcome my selfish ways and to learn to have a more loving and giving attitude.

 

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