The Joy of Giving
Many people nowadays are blatantly and unashamedly living for themselves. They’re not interested in other people. They don’t have time to help others in need. They focus only on what they want, what they need, what they feel will most benefit themselves.Ironically, this selfish attitude condemns them to living shallow, unrewarding lives. No matter how much they acquire for themselves, they are never satisfied.
Friend, if you want to experience a new level of God’s joy, if you want Him to pour out His blessings and favor in your life, then you’re going to have to get your mind off yourself. You must learn to be a giver and not a taker. Quit trying to figure out what everybody can do for you, and start trying to figure out what you can do for somebody else. We were not made to function as self-involved people, thinking only of ourselves. No, God created us to be givers. And you will never to be truly fulfilled as a human being until you learn the simple secret of how to give your life away.
When I’m tempted to be upset or worried, or when I lose my joy, the first thing I ask myself is, “What am I focused on? Where is the emphasis? What am I thinking about?” Nine times out of ten I’m thinking about my problems. I’m thinking about some concern or frustration in my life. I’m thinking about what I must do tomorrow. When I get all caught up in me, it’s a formula for depression and discouragement. We must learn to get out focus off ourselves. The late singer Keith Green said it well: “It’s so hard to see when my eyes are on me.”
You may not realize it, but it is extremely selfish to go around always dwelling on your problems, always thinking about what you want or need, and hardly noticing the many needs of others all around you. One of the best things you can do if you’re having a problem is to help solve somebody else’s problem. If you want your dreams to come to pass, help someone else fulfill his or her dreams. Start sowing some seeds so God can bring you a harvest. When we meet other people’s needs, God always meets our needs.
When you reach out to other people in need, God will make sure that your own needs are supplied. If you’re lonely today, don’t sit around feeling sorry for yourself. Go help someone else who is lonely. If you’re down and discouraged, don’t focus on your own need. Get your mind off yourself and go help meet someone else’s need. Go visit the nursing home or a children’s hospital. Call a friend and encourage that person. You need to sow some seed so God can bring you a harvest.
If you are believing for your child to find God, go help somebody else’s child to develop a relationship with God. If you’re struggling financially, go out and help somebody who has less than you have.
You may say, “Thế, I don’t have anything to give.” Sure you do! You can give a smile. You can give a hug. You can mow somebody’s lawn. You can bake somebody a cake. You can visit someone in the hospital or in a senior citizens’ center. You can write somebody an encouraging letter. Somebody needs what you have to share. Somebody needs your smile. Somebody needs your love. Somebody needs your friendship. Somebody needs your encouragement. God didn’t make us to function as “Lone Rangers.” He created us to be free, but He did not intend for us to be independent of each other. We really do need one another.