3 Amazing Benefits of Being Generous
How giving to others can be a gift to you!
By Randy Brewer
Doing good feels good.
If you’re reading these words, I imagine you’ve experienced how it really is “more blessed to give than to receive” (see Acts 20:35).
Certainly, the greatest blessing of being generous is that we get to release God’s blessings to others. That should be our #1 motivation to give! But recent research shows the act of giving offers additional benefits to the one who gives. Be encouraged to release generosity, and its benefits in your own life, today!
1. Being generous releases financial benefits.
Studies reveal that generous people tend to be wealthier. Is God blessing them? Is the so-called “Law of Attraction” at play? According to the article “Giving Makes You Rich” in Entrepreneur magazine1 charitable giving leads to economic growth, and economic growth can lead to greater charitable giving. It’s a wonderful cycle of generosity that gives, and gives and gives!
Now, the value of generosity is not that it produces wealth – you won’t hear me preaching a prosperity gospel here. But the heart of the matter is that, in the very act of being generous, we are released of the burden of more: more money, more stuff… Being generous is the surest way to escape the consuming lifestyle of consumerism. Instead, be generous, and you’ll come to realize true treasure is found when our heart is centered on God.
As we give out of the love that’s in our heart, we become more like our Creator. Generosity isn’t transactional, it’s transformational. “For God so loved the world, that he gave…” the Bible says in John 3:16. By His very nature, God is generous, and He gives because He loves. Let’s be like Him and do the same!
2. Being generous releases psychological benefits.
“God loves a cheerful giver.” It’s a familiar maxim to most people and one rooted in Scripture. (See 2 Corinthians 9:7.) I believe we were created to reflect God’s heart, God’s character. And that the truest thing about God is love. In being generous, we accomplish what we were created to do. That’s true happiness.
Scientific research supports this idea. Psychologist Dr. Soyoung Q. Park and her colleagues reported in the journal Nature Communications2 that there is a “neural link between generosity and happiness.”
Another study found that Americans who describe themselves as “very happy” volunteer an average of 5.8 hours per month3. So whether you’re giving of your time, talents or treasures, you can be sure that “feel good” glow will follow.
3. Being generous releases physical benefits.
Many scientific findings confirm that people who give generously enjoy better physical health than those who don’t. I believe in a God who heals, and even while I await my full healing from the cancer I’ve battled, I can vouch for the sweet medicine living a generous life has been to me. When I give, I feel myself taking hold of life that’s “truly life,” as 1 Timothy 6:17-19 describes.
On a biological level, stress-reducing hormones, such as oxytocin, are released when we give4. These hormones make us feel happy in a way only giving – not receiving – can generate. Considering that stress is often the underlying factor for many illnesses and diseases, releasing stress-reducing hormones by giving means generosity and good health are uniquely linked.
Ready to receive these benefits? It starts by releasing generosity! Discover even more blessings of living generously in the book Releasing Generosity – get your copy now! >>
1. Entrepreneur staff, “Giving Makes You Rich: New Proof that it Pays to be Charitable,” https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/185662 (October 17, 2007).
2. Soyoung Q. Park et. al, “A Neural Link Between Generosity and Happiness,” Nature Communications, Vol. 8, Article number: 15964 (2017).
3. Christian Smith, Hilary Davidson, The Paradox of Generosity: Giving We Receive, Grasping We Lose, (New York: Oxford University Press, 2014), 17.
4. Sara Konrath, “The Power of Philanthropy and Volunteering,” Wellbeing: A Complete Reference Guide, Vol. 6, (Malden, MA: Wiley Press, 2013), 410.