Research studies show that giving can boost both your physical and mental health. Generosity of your time, talents and treasures is really, really good for you!
Benefits of giving include:
- Lower blood pressure
- Increased self-esteem
- Lower stress
- Less depression
- Longer life
- Greater happiness and satisfaction
MRIs show that giving stimulates the mesolimbic pathway, releasing endorphins which makes you happy but is also addictive – the more you give the happier and healthier you will feel.
Targeted generosity (helping those we know need help) has even greater benefits. Targeted generosity tunes down the brain’s anxiety centre (generalized anxiety, phobias and PTSD). Helping those you know need help is good for your mental health.
But there are spiritual benefits to giving. Sacrificial giving is not merely unnatural, it is supernatural. It is the result of God’s grace, His power acting in our lives to accomplish what we could never do with our own strength. It is also how we reflect the nature and heart of God to a hurting world. Here are just a few of the blessings listed in the Bible:
- Good will come to those who are generous and lend freely, who conduct their affairs with justice. ~ Psalm 112:5
- It is more blessed to give than to receive. ~ Acts 20:35
- A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed. ~ Proverbs 11: 25
- Blessed is the one who considers the poor! ~ Psalm 41:1
- Give, and you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full-pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, running over, and poured into your lap. The amount you give will determine the amount you get back. ~ Luke 6:38
- Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. ~ 2 Corinthians 9:6
- And don’t forget to do good and to share with those in need. These are the sacrifices that please God. ~ Hebrews 13:16
- Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life. ~ 1 Timothy 6:17-19
So… Go ahead and be generous. Your spiritual, mental and physical health will thank you – and so will the people you help.
Stewardship Development Director