If anyone reads my blog regularly, you'll notice I think a lot about life and people, attitudes and relationships. I just keep trying to figure out how to live life better through being open to learning the lessons God is trying to teach me every day.
Over the course of the last year, I decided to re-evaluate how I invest my time, energy and resources. I realized I was more involved in selfish entertainment than doing something good with my time to help others. I decided to start volunteering more. That addressed a lot of the time and energy investment, but what about resources?
What resources do I have to offer? Of course, money comes to mind first. Skills and time are other resources I have to offer. One day I was pondering the life lesson to prioritize your resources and finances by giving first, saving second and living on the remainder. It is generally laid out in a 10%, 10%, 80% allocation.
Well that's hard. I have so many expenses, etc. how can I give and save 20% of everything? I confess that I don't. In an effort to grow in obedience, I decided to take baby steps. I thought I'd do a study in gratitude to help me warm up to being fully obedient to giving 10% away.
I said to myself, "First, I'll give 2%, then 4% and incrementally increase over time until I'm there and have adjusted my lifestyle." I'm working on it. In the meantime, I decided to make an effort to engage in one act of generosity a day to help me adjust my giving lifestyle.
I've been doing this for several weeks now, and I've learned so many wonderful things, I wanted to share with you. I thought it would be very hard to find ways of being generous every day, particularly in ways taht didn't involve giving money away, and I was shocked that it was quite easy. Moreover, the more I recognize ways to be generous and act on them, the more I see the opportunities.
So what things have I found to do? It can be as simple as holding the elevator for someone in my office and giving him or her my time. I volunteer with the high school kids and young adult groups at my church and give of my time there too. If I make dinner at night, I can offer some to my brother to eat. It's possible to offer to drive. I try to make donations to my church and alma maters. Money is the easiest thing to give away.
I also found I could give an ear by listening to a friend who is going through a hard time. I can give my skills too. I found I could give my marketing skills to my church through helping with their email marketing and social media communications. As a Greek Orthodox Christian, there is a big need for bread for services in our church. I found I could give time, skills, and money all in one gift by making bread and giving it to the church.
I saw all of these things in a few weeks and I continue to see more all because I decided to pay attention and open my eyes to the opportunity.
Next time I'll share with you the lessons that I learned and blessings I experienced through acting on generosity. They are lessons that encourage me to want to do more every day. Be generous because you can!