We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.
This statement has been attributed to Sir Winston Churchill. He may or may not have said it. Regardless, it definitely worth pondering and rings true to a deeper and more purposeful existence.
Growing up in the Episcopal Church, I heard this weekly in the offertory sentence as a regular part of the liturgy… Remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive. (Acts 20:35) It carries the same sentiment. Life is not about what you get but rather about what you give.
I am a person who loves to give gifts. At Christmas and birthdays I invest time, thought and action in choosing just the right gift for a person. I listen through the year to comments my wife makes and take note and often will know months in advance what I am going to give her for her birthday, our anniversary or just because.
Giving is an act, but it’s also an art. It expresses compassion, kindness and thoughtfulness. It can inspire greatness in our world. In one of his books Max Lucado makes this statement, “We are never more like God than when we give.” In our giving we have the opportunity to mediate something of immense value into the world, making a difference in people’s lives. The world can be changed by our active philanthropy.
While it’s nice to know that our giving can bring positive change to others. It’s also important to recognize that when we give, it changes us as well. We are changed and transformed by giving. We experience the blessing of giving and it should make us joyful!
Reflect: What’s a great gift that you received, that you remember to this day? How are you giving your life away to others?