Do You Want to Discover the Surprising Breakthrough Giving Makes?

This might surprise you but there is scientific evidence proving it is better to give than to receive. Here are five reasons why giving can lead to breakthrough.

  1. Giving is Good for Your Physical Health 

When you give, your brain releases chemicals such as serotonin, dopamine, and oxytocin.  Those are powerful stress-relieving, happiness-producing chemicals. A study on the neurobiology of giving versus receiving support demonstrated chemical changes lowering stress and blood pressure. Another study from the American Journal of Public Health found giving to others reduces stress and leads to a longer life.

2. Giving Leads to Enhanced Happiness and Well Being

Maybe you believe that humans at their core are rotten narcissists.  Research compiled by Notre Dame demonstrates we are equally wired for generosity. Science supports you are made in the image of a generous God. Every person has a spark of generosity in them which when activated leads to healthier outcomes.

Jesus once told a group of people that parents naturally give good gifts to their children (Luke 11: 11-13). He said if that were true of you, how much truer it is of God who delights in giving good gifts to you.  You don’t need neuroscience research to back this up, but studies demonstrate a change in our brains when we become parents – especially moms – that makes us more generous toward the needs of our child – and others. So, embrace generosity – it not only benefits others but also nourishes your health and happiness!

3. Giving Connects You to Something Bigger

You don’t have to believe in a generous God to receive the benefits of giving – they are good gifts from Him as part of his common grace for all. But you can be connected to a bigger purpose by joining with others to accomplish more than you could alone. Making a difference and having a greater impact comes from the joy of giving.

For me giving is tied deeply to love. Love is a decision to give. And we love because God first loved us and gave himself for us. He invites us to lay down our lives (our self-centered selfishness) to love others (I John 4:19-21).  There isn’t anything bigger than God. And you are most connected to Him when you demonstrate love by sharing what you have with others.

4. Giving Isn’t Just About Money

Generosity is not merely financial. As I write in Persevering Power, a legacy is not what you leave to someone but what you leave in someone. The death rate among humans today is 100%. You will die. Do you care about what you leave behind? Money is certainly a tool for helping others but the time you invest in volunteering, mentoring, serving, and using special skills to help others is priceless.

One of my great joys is seeing attorney friends at Administer Justice recognize the joy that comes from using a gift of power, wealth, and privilege (a law degree) to serve those who do not have access to such things. When a lawyer enters someone’s neighborhood, sits beside them, and guides them through confusing legal circumstances there is great joy for both the individual and the attorney. Whatever your unique ability, find joy in using it to serve others.

5. Don’t Think You Can’t Afford to Give – You Can’t Afford Not to. 

Americans are generous. The news loves to sell fear and negativity, but the reality is Americans in 2020 contributed a staggering $471.44 billion to charity. According to the World Giving Index 2023, America was the most generous developed country globally. That generosity includes helping a stranger (76% of Americans), donating to charity (61%), and volunteering (38%).

Don’t believe the lies that you don’t have enough time or money to give. I promise when you reach the end of your life you will appreciate the time you spent helping others. And you have more money than you think. As I wrote in Persevering Power, if you earn $53,924 a year you are in the richest 1.3% of people on planet Earth. “From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.” Luke 12:48.

That’s not a bad thing. Be grateful for all you have and share it with others. You will be blessed.