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Monday, March 5, 2012

Commandment #6: Give Everything You’ve Got

The commandments I have created for myself are not things that I do perfectly.  Quite the opposite.  These are things I feel strongly about, and things I feel I have real need for improvement on.  These are challenges for myself.  Things I want to do better at in my life.

You'll notice that this commandment doesn't say, "Give IT everything you've got," but just simply, "Give everything you've got."  This commandment follows the idea that if you have it, its yours to give away; although, it also incorporates the concept of give the best of what you've got.  All that we have are gifts anyway.  These gifts are given to bless the lives of others.

As Anne Frank said, "No one has ever become poor by giving."

I am of the firm belief that all that we have is on loan.  It's not, any of it, ours in the first place--our time, our talents, our possessions....Because I have received so abundantly, it's my opportunity to give it away.  To be selfish about anything is foolishness.

I will assert, however, that this isn't always easy.  I also would like to state that giving willy nilly is foolishness.  There have been times when I've seen someone on the side of the road with a sign and felt very strongly urged inside my heart to give them something.  There have been others when I have not.  There have been times when I've known that instead of running off to a meeting, I've needed to stay behind and take the time to talk to and listen to someone.  These things all fall under this commandment.  Do what is best--follow your heart.

Life is short, and we only go around once, so every minute should be our best, or we should use these minutes wisely.

I need to add, for my own encouragement, that the times when I've given unselfishly, I know I have been rewarded for doing so almost immediately.

I've been told that there are two kinds of people in this world--the givers and the takers.  I want to be a giver.

To quote a woman I deeply admire:

“I don't want to drive up to the pearly gates in a shiny sports car, wearing beautifully, tailored clothes, my hair expertly coiffed, and with long, perfectly manicured fingernails.
I want to drive up in a station wagon that has mud on the wheels from taking kids to scout camp.
I want to be there with a smudge of peanut butter on my shirt from making sandwiches for a sick neighbors children.
I want to be there with a little dirt under my fingernails from helping to weed someone's garden.
I want to be there with children's sticky kisses on my cheeks and the tears of a friend on my shoulder.
I want the Lord to know I was really here and that I really lived.”
Marjorie Pay Hinckley

Life is short.  It's our opportunity in it to gain through giving.


Tonya said...

I love the quote by Marjorie Hinkley.

What a wise woman!

lia london, author and writing coach said...

My cheeks hurt from grinning. You're a great soul, Julie. Thanks for this. It's part of my credo, too, though it also challenges me from time to time. Knowing you helps me be a better me. LOVE ya!

LeAnn said...

I want to be on the giver side too
I love Sister Hinckley's quote; it is one of my all time favorite ones. I enjoyed reading this timely post for me.

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