There is real joy in giving. We instinctively know this. A young man gives special presents to his sweetheart in a quest to win her heart. A parent relishes the wide-eyed joy in their child’s eyes on discovering an unexpected gift. Most of us have experienced moments of such joy.
When someone we care about is in trouble it’s natural to want to help. Often we try to do so by giving things. A divorced parent tries to soothe their child’s pain by buying more “stuff.” Culturally those who have a sense of guilt feel obligated to give “stuff” to those who may have been wronged.
Sometimes things are needed. But too often that becomes nothing more than feeding a hungry man a fish, when teaching him to fish for himself would feed him for a lifetime. And there’s nothing more powerful in teaching someone to fish than seeing YOU do so.
Your own transformation is the most powerful gift you can give to someone in trouble.
What kind of impact could your LIFE have on those who struggle with the same problems you have had to overcome? Think of the difference these individuals can make:
- An alcoholic who embraces sobriety and lives clean and sober year after year
- A disabled veteran who finds a meaningful life and useful employment
- A women with significant depression who fights until she finds what enables her to enjoy life anyway
- A man who goes broke and then develops a wildly successful business helping others deal with financial problems (Dave Ramsey, anyone?)
- A man and wife whose marriage is destroyed through violence or infidelity who then recover and re-develop trust and safety together
There’s no end to the inspiration one transformed life can give. Think of someone who has inspired you. Almost certainly it was someone who faced similar challenges as you have, and then rose above them. Doesn’t that make you want to do the same? Doesn’t their life give you courage and hope to keep going? Isn’t that the greatest gift they could ever give you?
In the spiritual realm there is no more powerful message for the Kingdom of God than a sinner saved by grace who can stand and say, “That was my life then. But here is my life now, because of what God has done in me!” When one’s character backs up those words it creates a message that even the devil cannot argue against.
Why not be that inspiration to someone else? Why not become what you dreamed of? Why not take the light you received, fan it even brighter, and then pass it on?
Your BECOMING will be the best gift you can give to someone coming after you.
Your turn: Who have you found inspiration from? How can you enlarge that and pass it on? I’d love to hear from you.
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