Live to Give

©iStock.com/jrmiller482

©iStock.com/jrmiller482

 Is there a supreme, overarching purpose to life? Is there a single motto, a common life goal, that will bring meaning to anyone in any walk of life?

Check out this quotation from Messiah, by Jerry D. Thomas:

The law of selfless love is the law of life for earth and heaven … All created things—except for the selfish human heart—reflects in some way God’s law of love. Every bird that takes flight, every animal that moves and breathes, has a part in helping other creatures survive. Even the leaves and blades of grass have their ministry. The oxygen they give supports all living creatures. Animals return to them the carbon dioxide they need to grow and survive.

All of nature lives to give. (pp 11-12)

Live to give—it reminds me of Jesus’s declaration that He “did not come to be served, but to serve” (Matthew 20:28, NIV). Interestingly, even secular studies support the benefit of this attitude toward life. Research shows that people who volunteer live longer, happier, less stressful lives. They have better self-esteem, are more active, and even find it easier to deal with chronic illness. [1] [2]

MessiahThe passage from Messiah goes on to mention more examples of this “law of life.” Flowers and sun, ocean and rivers, even the “angels find their joy in giving” (p. 12). And let’s not forget the supreme example:

 In Jesus we see God most clearly. He shows us without doubt that His Father’s greatest joy—His greatest glory—is to give. God’s life flows out to the universe in His ministry for all created beings. (p. 12)

Live to give—this attitude changes everything. It transforms even the most menial chore. You no longer have to mow lawns for the boring reason of making money; you can revel in the knowledge that you’re creating beautiful landscaping—a work of art for others to enjoy. You don’t have to clean the toilet merely to check off the items on your to-do list; rather, it can be a service of love performed to guard the health of your family (and so they don’t have to gag when nature calls).

Live to give—it’s the principle underlying “new” ideas like “pay it forward” and “random acts of kindness.” These are really only secular paraphrases of Jesus’s words: “It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35). In other words, even our sin-sick hearts still find joy in the act of giving.

So who can you serve today?

 

[1] http://www.volunteeringinamerica.gov/research.cfm

[2] http://cdn.volunteermatch.org/www/about/UnitedHealthcare_VolunteerMatch_Do_Good_Live_Well_Study.pdf

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