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The Secret to Living is Giving

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

From John L. Masonwe have these thoughts on giving:

When it comes to giving, are you a person who will stop at nothing?

The secret to living is giving. One way to judge a person is by what they say. A better way is by what they do. The best way is by what they give. Charles Spurgeon said, "Feel for others - in your wallet." An Indian proverb says, "Good people, like clouds, receive only to give away." Whatever good happens in your life is not so you can keep it all to yourself. Part of it is intended to be given to others. I agree with E.V. Hill when he says, "Whatever God can get through you, He will get to you."

The book of Acts says, "It is more blessed to give than to receive." Giving is always the thermometer of our love for others. Eleanor Roosevelt said, "When you cease to make a contribution, you begin to die." If you have, give. If you lack, give.

Selfishness always ends in self-destruction. John Ruskin said, "When a man is wrapped up in himself, he makes a pretty small package." Henry Drummond said, "There is no happiness in having or in getting, but only in giving." The test of generosity is not necessarily how much you give but how much you have left. Henry Thoreau said, "If you give money, spend yourself with it." What you give, lives.


the gay bookworm said...

Hey WHere is the homework you promised me? What is up with that? LOL Okay I give and give and give. So seriously what is a poor boy to do? Should I give more? Who should I be giving it to? I certainly get enough people asking for it through the mail and on street corners etc... What is the answer? Does it matter who you give it to? THe Needy? the greedy? the sick? the poor? this country or another? What about struggling artists? WHat about the mothers/fathers raising children on their own? I am serious who out of all those asking including ourselves and loved ones are we supposed to give to? Where do you draw the line? When is enough enough? WHat do all of you think?

Shirley Twofeathers said...

The homework I promised you is coming. Seriously on it's way.

Who should you give to? I don't know. Who should I give to? I'm not sure. These are good questions.

Off the top of my head, I would say that on the surface this post is something a preacher might say right before the offering plate goes around. But when you look at it from a deeper standpoint, there is truth in it.

I know you personally, and I know that you are a giving person. You give your attention, you give time and assistance, you give your energy, you give your opinions, you give love. Is that enough? I think that's plenty. Bigger question - do YOU think it's enough. If the answer is yes, then you have your answer.

I give. I give my attention (but not all the time), I give my energy (but only to those things that I'm excited about), I give my opinions (even when they aren't wanted). Could I be giving more? Absolutely!

I could give a smile and a friendly face to the person who sells me the Monster Black that gives me the energy to move through my day. I could give little presents and bigger blocks of time to my granddaughters. I could give the people I talk to at work my full attention instead of only my "seeming" attention, I could even give compassion. I could give my art away to people who love it. I could give books I'm never going to read to friends who haunt Half Price Books. I could give time and space to my spiritual self. I could give more fun to my inner child. Instead of judgment and worry, I could give acceptance and support to my daugher and son-in-law. I could give my dog a bath. There's a heck of a lot I could be giving... this list could go on and on.

One more thing. It seems to me that giving is best done from the perception of having more than enough. When I'm feeling stretched, and needy, and impoverished, and "less than," and tired... my cup is pretty much empty and there isn't much in there to share and to give. That's when it's important to put MYSELF on top of that list of who to give to.

So... there you have it. My opinion. Freely given. (I have a lot of them, so they're easy to share) LOL

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure who to give to sometimes either and I know some ministers promote "giving to the place where you get your spiritual sustenance" but that would mean that I would never be able to give to some of my favorite charities because they don't really give me spiritual sustenance, I just appreciate their efforts. And I would never be able to give to individuals who need it. I think folks who want us to believe they are "in the know" put a lot of Rules around How To Give, and it puts a lot of pressure on me personally. Am I giving "right"? I say screw them, I'll give to wherever makes me happy right this second and however much I am comfortable giving (not the whole 10% that is demanded, that's for sure). One great idea I read about recently was saving up all your spare change for the year in a jar and then being a Secret Santa and secretly giving it to someone you know personally or have learned about who you know really really needs it - at Christmastime or I'm sure whenever the fancy strikes you. I think it was called "The Christmas Jar" and it was such a sweet sentiment. Maybe we should do that this year and save however much change we can each comfortably save the rest of the year and then pile it together and choose someplace/someone to give it to. That would make me feel good. Anyone else?

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