“And I have been a constant example of how you can help those in need by working hard. You should remember the words of the Lord Jesus: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’” Acts 20:35

There’s a saying that goes, “When someone has been given much, much will be required in return.” When you receive a gift, there’s a feeling of obligation to return the favor.

It’s great to receive gifts, but how do you feel about giving them? Whenever certain people meet others, they ask, “What can you do for me?” instead of asking, “What can I do for you?” They have a “Me, Myself, and I” attitude, and think that the world revolves around them. They have the attitude that the world owes them something. In fact, the world owes them nothing.

Many people always want to be on the receiving end. They wait until someone does something for them before they are moved to action. They fail to realize that it is only through giving that whatever they are seeking will be found.

I guarantee you that the more you give, the more you will receive.  If you give respect, you will get respect. If you give love, you will get love. If you give honesty, you will get honesty. Whatever you give or send out to the world, you will receive more of it! Alternatively, if you give little, you will get little in return.

There are many reasons why we give, and it shouldn’t be done only during the holiday seasons like Thanksgiving and Christmas. When we give, we take our focus off of ourselves and our situations and turn our attention to the needs of others.

Giving doesn’t only have to be about donating thousands of dollars to charities. “It’s not how much we give, but how much love we put into giving,” Mother Theresa once said.

Everyone has something to give, and it should be a daily occurrence in your life. It should always be done out of compassion, kindness, and gratitude. You can give of your time, talents, and resources. Giving promotes self-esteem and self-worth. When you know you have something to offer the world, life is worth living.

I know many people who go abroad to improve the quality of life of others in third world countries. I applaud them for their courage and compassion to bring comfort, assistance, and materials to those who are living in dire conditions.

Sometimes, we forget that there are people in our own neighborhoods who are in need of our help as well. Our own friends and relatives may even need our assistance. Someone people don’t need money, but just a listening ear. Others need love and to know that someone cares.

Proverbs 3:27 says, “Do not withhold good from those who deserve it when it’s in your power to help them.” If you know you have the ability to help someone in need, do it! There are endless opportunities for you to give.

Ways You Can Give

1) Tutor or babysit children, or mentor a young person.

2) Visit an elderly person at a senior center or a nursing home.

3) Gather clothing and donate them to a local shelter.

4) Rake leaves or shovel snow for a senior citizen.

5) Make care packages (with combs, toothbrushes, toothpastes, shampoos, soap, etc.) for the homeless.

6) Bring toys to children in the cancer ward of a hospital.

7) Help cook and/or serve meals at a homeless shelter.

8) Collect canned goods and donate them to a local shelter or food pantry.

Cindy Similien-Johnson is the founder of CSJ Media Publishing, and author of the bestselling e-cookbook series and popular cooking classes, "Cook Like A Haitian." She's also the founder of the women empowerment grassroots initiative, Goal Chic.

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