Some people are always greedy for more, but the godly love to give!
Proverbs 21:26 NLT
Part of living a godly life is having a heart that loves to give! Are you someone who tends to be greedy for more (more money, more clothes, more success, more “me time”) or do you love giving your time, energy, and resources to help other people?
I don’t always have the best attitude about giving. I love food, and my husband and I sometimes get into fork battles because I don’t like to share. Now, as a parent, I’ve started to see this same heart in my two-year-old! She says “Everything is mine!” as she takes my food. And oh, how I struggle as she piles food onto her plate I know she isn’t going to eat!
Are you someone who loves to give and who is always looking for ways to give to others?
Your attitude tells a lot about your relationship with God! According to this Scripture, godly people love to give. They don’t give begrudgingly or out of duty; they love giving to other people.
 Give freely and become more wealthy; be stingy and lose everything.  The generous will prosper; those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed.
Proverbs 11:24-25 NLT
The Bible teaches us that when we have a generous heart that gives freely, God will take care of our needs– we become more “wealthy” spiritually, relationally, and even financially. When we give God always takes care of our needs. On the flipside, when we are stingy, we lose everything.
God’s promise is that when we are generous, we will prosper. Generous is defined as “showing a readiness to give more of something, money or time, than strictly necessary or expected, kind to others.” To prosper means to flourish or thrive, blossom, make progress, be successful financially or physically. When we are generous, God will prosper us.
Are you generous with your time, heart, emotions, space? Do you love to share?
When we have a generous heart, we actually benefit!
How Giving Up “Me Time” Benefits You
If you still aren’t a believer, check out this empirical evidence a Helpguide adaptation of Harvard health publications “Simple Changes, Big Rewards: A Practical, Easy Guide for Healthy, Happy Living”:
“When researchers at the London School of Economics examined the relationship between volunteering and measure of happiness in a large group of American adults, they found that the more people volunteered, the happier they were. Compared to people who never volunteered those where volunteered monthly were 7% happier, and those who volunteered weekly were 16% happier, equivalent to a boost of income from $20,000 to $75,000-$100,000.”
Simply by volunteering once a week, their happiness grew as if they got a $55,000-$80,000 raise! I think we fight a lot to have enough “me time” but don’t always realize how much happier we’ll be if we find ways to give some of it away.
With busy lives, we can feel like it’s hard to find time to volunteer, serve and give in different ways. However, the benefits of volunteering are big for us and our community. We will actually feel happier and less stressed when we volunteer, not more stressed.
According to Helpguide’s full article there are a number of surprising benefits of volunteering:
- Volunteering helps to strengthen and build new relationships.
- Volunteering helps you increase your social and relationship skills.
- Volunteering can boost your self-confidence, self-esteem, and life satisfaction.
- Volunteering can reduce stress as it takes your mind off your worries, combats depression, can help you stay physically healthy and gives you a sense of purpose
- Volunteering can expose you to new leadership training and skills that can help your own personal career.
Not to mention volunteering is fun and can energize you with renewed creativity, motivation and vision that can carry over into your personal and professional life!
How You Can Get Involved
 Do not withhold what is good from those who deserve it; if it is within your power to give it, do it.  Do not send your neighbor away, saying, “Get back with me tomorrow. I can give it to you then,” when what he needs is already in your hand.
Proverbs 3:27-28 Voice
This Scripture says don’t withhold good from others when it’s within your power to do so! So what good do you have the power to give? What are some ways we can give/serve/volunteer? We have many ongoing opportunities at the BACC:
- Serve as a volunteer at our Y-Camps. This is an incredible opportunity and we always need volunteers to be counselors, registration helpers, chaperones, and buddies for campers with special needs. If you are available contact Y-ministry staff at one of our six services in your local area to get involved.
- Mentor a teen or middle schooler – Even if you are unable to go to camp, you can volunteer as a mentor in our Y-ministry. Devote an hour of your week or a few hours a month to hanging out and talking with a middle schooler or teen; it’s an opportunity to shape someone’s life for the future.
- Volunteer in children’s ministry and SRM during Sunday services.
- Come an hour early to a church service to help as an usher or a singer or to help with set-up.
When we regularly come to church services but choose not to serve we miss out on great opportunities for others and for ourselves.
Another one of our favorite ways to give to the community is by volunteering for E-Sports (E-Fitness, E-Soccer, and E-Hoops). My husband and I have been involved in these inclusive sports programs for many years; we have been so inspired to see children with special needs and typical kids learning sports skills and social skills in an inclusive environment. For some kids it’s the one thing they look forward to all week! These programs provide great opportunities to make an impact on the community and change families’ lives, plus get a good workout yourself!
 Now, brothers and sisters, let me tell you about the amazing gift of God’s grace that’s happening throughout the churches in Macedonia.  Even in the face of severe anguish and hard times, their elation and poverty have overflowed into a wealth of generosity.  I watched as they willingly gave what they could afford and then went beyond to give even more.
2 Corinthians 8:1-3 Voice
The disciples had the heart to give above and beyond. Even in their hard times they overflowed with generosity. They gave their whole hearts.
Is that your heart? In what ways can you go above and beyond with your giving?
 For God is not unjust. He will not forget how hard you have worked for him and how you have shown your love to him by caring for other believers, as you still do.  Our great desire is that you will keep on loving others as long as life lasts, in order to make certain that what you hope for will come true.  Then you will not become spiritually dull and indifferent. Instead, you will follow the example of those who are going to inherit God’s promises because of their faith and endurance.
Hebrews 6:10-12 NLT
Lastly, we can serve each other spiritually. One of God’s ways of keeping us sharp spiritually is by investing our time, our energy and our hearts to serving and loving others. We can make Bible studies for each other, spend time asking questions and helping each other in our faith, and even giving up our own time to pray with each other.
This summer, how will you use your free time? Use it to make a lasting difference for someone else and you’ll experience the incredible benefits of volunteering.