‘Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.’(v38)
Researchers from the University of Nottingham in England set out to answer the question: Are people who practice gratitude more likely to help others, share, volunteer and donate? They found a clear link between gratitude and behaviour that helps society as a whole.
Also, individuals with a broader outlook of gratitude and appreciation of the positive in the world proved more likely to engage in helping others compared with those for whom gratitude is a passing emotion. It appears that a positive outlook and generosity of heart benefit others whilst also providing the giver with protection against stress.
Giving back isn’t necessarily financial but can be expressed with our time, knowledge, and personal engagement.
Giving back isn’t necessarily financial but can be expressed with our time, knowledge, and personal engagement. For example, since launching in 1976, Habitat for Humanity has helped over 29 million people improve their housing conditions and start independent lives with support from volunteers and partners. Giving back demonstrates that we have shifted our focus from ourselves and, like Jesus, are looking to the interests of others.
In a world often presented as selfish, and with many people dealing with anxiety due to isolation, reaching out, giving back and attempting to build community creates a space within which the character of God can be expressed. Just as Jesus gave up the security of heaven to live on earth, so we can move our focus from concerns just about our own welfare and seek to give back from all that we have received by grace already (Matt. 10:7–8).
SCRIPTURE TO CONSIDER:
AN ACTION TO TAKE:
Are you ready to shift your focus from yourself to others? What will this mean in practice?
A PRAYER TO MAKE:
‘Lord, help me to be one who builds community through giving back as a sign of the kingdom of God on earth. Amen.’
Photo by Elaine Casap on Unsplash