One of my “Words for 2011” is ‘GIVING.’
I read a book about a month ago that highlighted the importance of restoring margin in our lives: financial margin, emotional margin, health margin, etc. One of the greatest rewards of living a life of margin is that it frees you up to give. When you have extra money because you have not spent it on things that you do not need, you are free to give. When you are emotionally strong and physically healthy because you have taken care to maintain margin in these areas, you are free to give. When you give, you find that the joy it brings you and others greatly exceeds the joy of the things which previously occupied your margins.
When we think about giving, we normally think of money, work, and time. These are certainly wonderful and important ways to give, but perhaps the best place for us to start is the often overlooked gift of gratitude. I am currently reading a book by one of my favorite authors, Tim Sanders, titled Today We Are Rich (free Kindle Edition). Tim highlights the importance of giving thanks in a chapter titled “Exercise Your Gratitude Muscle.”
“Gratitude is a muscle, not a feeling…You’ve got to give your gratitude muscle a workout every day if you want to feel grateful.”
Tim gives a three-step workout plan for your gratitude muscle.
- Tune In – Actively look for things to be thankful for.
- Dig Deeper – Identify the source (ultimately, the source is God).
- Express Thanks – Identify people who have helped you. Thank them. Thank them publicly.
Why not give your gratitude a workout today? Who can you give thanks to? What is stopping you?
I’ll go first. I would like to thank my friend and mentor Jim Poitras for a compliment that he paid me yesterday. The encouraging words came at a time when I needed to hear them. I am thankful that God has put people in my life to affirm the giftings that He has given me. Thanks, Bro. Poitras!