Who doesn't like to receive good things from others? When you receive a gift from someone, it is often given out of appreciation or to thank you for something. Some people get as much or more satisfaction from giving than they do from receiving. What can a giver get that someone who receives cannot? Let's explore this idea.
A little background first. At the age of 51, my world changed. Up to that point, I had what many would consider an incredibly successful career and had subsequently built a thriving business. My wife was suddenly diagnosed with cancer, and my whole world turned upside down. Although the initial diagnosis said she would live three to five years, she died within less than six months.
Suddenly, the money, cars, houses, and every other material thing became meaningless. My life dramatically shifted as I realized it means little without meaningful relationships. What Solomon, the wisest man on earth, said millennia ago about everything being meaningless suddenly made sense.
Creating a Meaningful Life
Life can be meaningful and immensely fulfilling when you understand one of the greatest secrets of the ages:
Give with a right heart, and you receive far more in return.
In today's consumer-driven world, we tend to think more about getting than giving. Yet, if all you do is take in life, it is doubtful you will find much fulfillment or contentment. A perfect example of this is our relationships.
Is anything more important than relationships? I came to understand long ago that relationships are life. They make life possible and worth living. So much so that it is only in relationships that you create or gain meaning in life!
The great thing about good relationships is at their root, they are about giving and taking with the right motive and attitude. This translates to caring and loving for each other. What could be more meaningful than that?
Giving and Receiving
It is important to learn to give and receive with the right attitude of the heart. Giving and receiving in this way can prosper your soul and your bank account. You will find, as I have, that the right attitude of the heart makes life extremely fulfilling.
Scripture says, "God loves a cheerful giver." 2 Cor. 9:7b NIV (c. 55-56 AD). It also states:
"Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over, will be poured into your lap." Luke 6:38 NIV (c. 85 AD)
It is important to realize before you give, you must receive. You cannot give what you have not received. What have you received that you can give?
But before you receive anything, know that how you receive it is essential! I suggest you receive all good things with gratefulness and appreciation.
"Being able to receive a gift with gratitude is a sign of a healthy, humble spirit, which is also pleasing to God." Luchrisa Valentine (1964-present)
Do you want to enjoy more success in your job and your life? Receive what you get with appreciation. When you receive your paycheck with appreciation, the work itself will appreciate in value to you. Additionally, your value will most likely appreciate in the company's eyes. It is easy to get so caught up in how much money you make and how much you owe that you can miss the most important things in life.
As already stated, a fulfilled life is not about things. It is about relationships. Or, to put it more rightly, it is about your appreciation for those who are in your life! Life does not exist without relationship, so what better thing could there be to appreciate!
What can you appreciate that you have received today? How about your spouse, children, family, friends, colleagues, a job, a roof over your head, money for food, transportation, and a thousand other things. The more you appreciate each of these, the more you will value them, and the more you, in turn, will be valued.
"Freely you have received; freely give." Matthew 10:8b NIV (c.80-90 AD)
It is out of what you have received, you can give. True riches always come from giving. It is a natural law like gravity that when you give, you receive. And the more you give, the more you receive.
What can you give today to begin creating your meaningful, fulfilled, rich life?