No one has ever become poor by giving.
Anne Frank, the young Jewish girl who spent two years in hiding during the Second World War, had many wise insights. This quote is from “The Diary of a Young Girl” a book published from her diary in 1947. As a girl born into a practicing Jewish family, Anne would have been familiar with the Old Testament concept of tithing – giving a 10th of everything to God. (Leviticus 27:30-33, Numbers 18:21-24) Of giving thanks to God with what they had – Deuteronomy 14:22-27, and giving to the poor every third year – Deuteronomy 14:28-29. The Jews were taught that they would prosper if they tithed. Jesus and His disciples expanded on giving by suggesting we should give anonymously, voluntarily, expectantly, with joy and thanksgiving, and to raise our own sense of why we give.
In addition, science has data to support the idea of giving or altruism as a good way to improve our lives:
- Happiness: giving by helping (using a talent) either at work or as a volunteer has been proven to increase happiness in this study
- Health: giving may lower the stress hormones of cortisol – the more money people gave away the happier they were and the more generous by helping, the healthier they were.
- Relationships: being generous and serving with your spouse creates a happier marriage.
And then there are the intangible benefits like feeling thankful for what you have, connection to something greater than yourself, and setting a good example for the next generation.
The act of giving provides much more than the little we give away.
Consider what you’re giving now.
Do you want to feel happier, healthier, have better relationships, provide a greater example of good, become connected to something greater than you are and be even more thankful?
Maybe it’s time to add to what you give away…