Your Candle Looses Nothing When It Lights Another
No person was ever honored for what he received. Honor has been the reward for what he gave.
—Calvin Coolidge, American President
Giving is the highest level of living. —John C. Maxwell
It Starts in the Heart
When you think of generous people, who comes to mind? Do you picture millionaire philanthropists from the turn of the century such as Andrew Carnegie, J. P. Morgan, and Andrew Mellon? Do you think of contemporary givers such as Joan Kroc or Bill Gates? Those people have given away millions of dollars. But I want to acquaint you with another giver. She is someone you've probably never heard of, yet she typifies the deepest kind of giving, the kind that can come only from the heart.
Her name is Elisabeth Elliot. In the early 1950s, she accompanied a group of missionaries to Ecuador with the hope of reaching the Quichua Indians. Among that group was a young man named Jim, who had been courting her since 1947. While they worked together and gave their lives to serving the Ecuadoran Indians, they finally decided to give themselves to each other and were married.
They had been together about two years and had a ten-month-old daughter named Valerie when Jim and four other missionaries felt compelled to make contact with another small group of Indians living in the area called the Auca. The Indians had a fierce reputation. The earliest record of any contact with them was of their killing a priest in the 1600s. Since then, they had attacked every outsider who came their way. Even the other Ecuadoran Indians avoided them because of their brutality.
As Jim and the others prepared to make contact, Elisabeth knew that the five men would be putting themselves in danger, but she was resolute. The two of them had given their lives to this mission. For several weeks, a missionary pilot flew a small plane over an Aucan village and dropped supplies and other items as gifts. They even included pictures of themselves to prepare the tribespeople for their first contact.
A few weeks later, Jim and four others landed on a small stretch of beach on the Curaray River and set up camp. There they made contact with three Aucans—a man and two women—who seemed to be friendly and receptive. And in following days, they met with several others. They told their wives by radio that they seemed to be making significant progress in befriending the tribe.
But then a few days later, the men failed to check in with the base camp at an appointed time. Their wives waited in vain to hear from them. Minutes passed, then hours, and then a day. Elisabeth and the others feared the worst.
A search party went out to look for the men and radioed back bad news. They had spotted the body of a white man floating in the river. The searchers found the men, one by one. With each it was the same: he had been slashed with Aucan spears. All five of the men were dead.
Under those circumstances, many people in Elisabeth Elliot's shoes would have gone home. It's one thing to be willing to give up a comfortable life in the United States to help other people; it's quite another to give up your spouse. But Elliot had a truly generous heart. Despite her terrible loss, she still wanted to help the people of Ecuador. She stayed and served the Quichuans with whom she was living.
What happened after that is even more remarkable. Other missionaries continued trying to make contact with an Aucan village. And after a couple of years, they succeeded. Immediately Elisabeth Elliot rushed to the village. Was it to seek revenge? No, it was to work with the people there and serve them. Elliot lived and worked among the Aucan people for two years, and many of them gladly accepted the message of God's love she carried— including two of the seven men who had killed her husband.
[ALL THIS IS FROM A HUMAN PERSPECTIVE VERY ADMIRABLE IN DEDICATION TO A WORK. THEY OBVIOUSLY WERE SINCERE IN WANTING THESE PEOPLE TO KNOW ABOUT THE CHRISTIAN GOSPEL AND THE BIBLE. BUT SADLY THIS OFTEN COMES ABOUT FROM A FALSE PREMISE….. IF YOU DON’T GET “SAVED” IN THIS LIFE YOU ARE HEADING FOR “HELL FIRE” - WHICH IS JUST NOT SO, BUT THEN YOU HAVE TO HAVE THE LIGHT OF THE PLAN OF SALVATION THAT GOD IS WORKING HERE BELOW - AND MOST, THE VAST VAST MAJORITY DO NOT HAVE THIS LIGHT OF TRUTH. THIS WEBSITE GIVES YOU THAT LIGHT - Keith Hunt]
Fleshing It Out
Nothing speaks to others more loudly or serves them better than generosity from a leader. True generosity isn't an occasional event. It comes from the heart and permeates every aspect of a leader's life, touching his time, money, talents, and possessions. Effective leaders, the kind that people want to follow, don't gather things just for themselves; they do it in order to give to others. Cultivate the quality of generosity in your life. Here's how:
1. Be Grateful for Whatever You Have
It's hard for a person to be generous when he is not satisfied with what he has. Generosity rises out of contentment, and that doesn't come with acquiring more. Millionaire John D. Rockefeller admitted, "I have made millions, but they have brought me no happiness." If you're not content with little, you won't be content with a lot. And if you're not generous with little, you won't suddenly change if you become wealthy.
2. Put People First
The measure of a leader is not the number of people who serve him, but the number of people he serves. Generosity requires putting others first. If you can do that, giving becomes much easier.
3. Don't Allow the Desire for Possessions to Control You
According to my friend Earle Wilson, people can be divided into three groups: "Haves, have-nots, and have not paid for what they have." More and more people are becoming enslaved to the desire to acquire. Author Richard Foster writes, "Owning things is an obsession in our culture. If we own it, we feel we can control it; and if we can control it, we feel it will give us more pleasure. The idea is an illusion." If you want to be in charge of your heart, don't allow possessions to take charge of you.
4. Regard Money as a Resource
Someone once said that when it comes to money, you can't win. If you focus on making it, you're materialistic. If you try to but don't make any, you're a loser. If you make a lot and keep it, you're a miser. If you make it and spend it, you're a spendthrift. If you don't care about making any, you're unambitious. If you make a lot and still have it when you die, you're a fool—for trying to take it with you.
The only way to really win with money is to hold it loosely—and be generous with it to accomplish things of value. As E. Stanley Jones said, "Money is a wonderful servant but a terrible master. If it gets on top and you get under it, you will become its slave."
5. Develop the Habit of Giving
In 1889, millionaire industrialist Andrew Carnegie wrote an essay called "Gospel of Wealth." In it he said that the life of a wealthy person should have two periods: a time of acquiring wealth and one of redistributing it. The only way to maintain an attitude of generosity is to make it your habit to give—your time, attention, money, and resources. Richard Foster advises, "Just the very act of letting go of money, or some other treasure, does something within us. It destroys the demon greed." If you're enslaved by greed, you cannot lead.
Reflecting on It
Are you a generous leader? Do you continually look for ways to add value to others? Are you giving money to something greater than yourself? And to whom are you giving your time? Are you pouring your life into others? Are you helping those who cannot help you or give anything in return? Writer John Bunyan affirmed, "You have not lived today until you have done something for someone who can never repay you." If you aren't giving in the small areas of your life, you're probably not as generous a leader as you could be.
Bringing It Home
To improve your generosity, do the following:
Give something away. Find out what kind of hold your possessions have on you. Take something you truly value, think of someone you care about who could benefit from it, and give it to him. If you can do it anonymously, even better.
Put your money to work. If you know someone with the vision to do something really great—something that will positively impact the lives of others—provide resources for him to accomplish it. Put your money to work for something that will outlive you.
Find someone to mentor. Once you reach a certain level in your leadership, the most valuable thing you have to give is yourself. Find someone to pour your life into. Then give him time and resources to become a better leader.
When popular French author Dominique Lapierre first traveled to India to do research for a new book, he went in style—in a Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow he had just purchased with a book advance. While he was there, he got what he needed for his book The City of Joy. But he also received something else: a passion to help the poor and miserable people he discovered there. That discovery has changed his life forever. Now he divides his time between writing, fund-raising, and donating time and money to help the people. His attitude can be summed up by the words of Indian poet Rabindranath Tagore, which are printed on the back of Lapierre's business card: "All that is not given is lost." What are you currently losing by holding on to it?
THIS IS INDEED A VERY IMPORTANT POINT FOR BEING A GOOD LEADER. IF YOU INTROSPECT YOUR LIFE YOU CAN PROBABLY SEE WHERE YOU ARE A LEADER IN SOME RESPECT, IN SOME AREA OF YOUR LIFE. SO IT IS VERY NECESSARY TO BE A GIVING PERSON - AND GIVING IS A WHOLE LOT MORE THAN THINKING OF IT IN TERMS OF MONEY, YOU MAY GIVE TO OTHERS.
I HAVE BEEN CALLED TO BE A SERVANT MINISTER TO THE FATHER GOD AND HIS SON CHRIST JESUS [WHO IS HEAD OF HIS CHURCH], IN THE WORK OF THE GOSPEL AND KINGDOM OF GOD. I AM BLESSED TO HAVE HOBBIES FOR MY LEISURE TIME THAT ARE WONDERFUL, BUT MY FIRST JOB, AND MY FIRST GIVING, MUST BE TO OTHERS, NOW AROUND THE WORLD [WITH THE WORLD WIDE INTERNET], WITH THE MESSAGE OF THE TRUTHS OF GOD. THE WORLDWIDE INTERNET WEB CAME TO THE WORLD STARTING ABOUT 1990. I HAD MY FIRST COMPUTER JANUARY 1995 WITH “WINDOWS 3.6 AND “FLOPPY DISCS” [MANY TODAY WILL NOT EVEN KNOW WHAT A FLOPPY DISC WAS]. I WAS GRANTED A WEB-SITE IN THE WINTER OF 1997/8…. A FRIEND OF MINE BUILT IT FOR ME. THIS WEBSITE YOU ARE ON, HAS HAD 3 FACELIFTS SINCE THEN; IT IS NOW IN ITS 20TH YEAR AS OF 2018, AS I ENTER THIS SERIES OF STUDIES. IT IS MY GIVING TO THE WORLD AT LARGE; GIVING BACK TO PEOPLE WHAT GOD HAS GIVEN TO ME TO GIVE BACK. THIS JOB OF MINE IS THE FIRST AND MOST IMPORTANT WORK IN MY LIFE. I HAVE GIVEN THOUSANDS UPON THOUSANDS UPON THOUSANDS OF HOURS TO THIS WORK IN THE LAST 20 YEARS, TO PRODUCE THE STUDIES YOU CAN FIND HERE. THAT IS MY JOB, I MUST DO SO BECAUSE THAT IS WHAT I AM CALLED TO DO.
EVERYONE IS A LEADER IN SOMETHING; SO EVERYONE MUST BE A GIVER, A GENEROUS PERSON TO OTHERS, IN WHATEVER AREA OF LEADING AND GIVING GOD HAS SET BEFORE YOU.
YOU MUST BE A GENEROUS PERSON! YOU MUST BE A PERSON OF GENEROSITY!