We have all heard about the scripture that says “it is more blessed to give than to receive” sometimes we even quote it including the one that says “we are blessed to be a blessing”. The question in my mind now is how many of us actually practice or live out what these two scriptures say?
Over the past weeks we have reviewed Joel Osteen’s book Your Best Life Now in which he lays out the seven steps to living life to our full potential. This week we bring this review to a close by looking at steps 6 & 7 in which he asks us to Live to Give and to always remember Happiness is a Choice.
Let us look at how we can practically live out these two steps.
1. Choose to be a blessing
I have encountered many people who live with the principle that we are blessed to be a blessing. These people always seek out ways to be a blessing to others. Sadly I have also met other people who live as takers and always look for what they can get instead of giving.
In the old testament we read that when God asked Abraham to leave his Country and his relatives to go into a foreign land, he not only promised to make him into a great nation but he promised to bless him so he too would be a blessing. My interpretation of this scripture Genesis 12: 1-2 is the blessing was never meant to rest with us. You have to pass it on so that you can partake of the promises in Genesis 12:3.
I know sometimes there are people who take advantage of your generosity and you may feel like giving up. Other times, you may feel like you give too much and yet the returns are few or not evident at all. Fortunately, God recognised that we as human beings tend to get weary and we can find hope in these words “do not grow weary in doing good for at the proper time you will reap a harvest if you do not give up”. The test here is to never give up in order to reap the harvest.
Every human being regardless of their status in life loves to receive. In this regard, the next time you count your blessings or are blessed by another person, ask God to show you who and in what ways you too can be a blessing to another person.
2. Always carry a seed in your pocket
Several years ago I was blessed when Joyce Meyer taught me this lesson. She preached that we should always start our day with a seed and then ask God to show us where to plant that seed. A seed can be anything from a kind word, a gesture of love, a shoulder to lean on, a helping hand or even a financial gift. Honestly in this day and age who of us would not appreciate any of these?
Joel Osteen correctly puts it this way,
“The Seed must lead. If you really want to thrive you must learn to be a giver. Whatever you sow you will reap.” Further that “Do not ignore the feeling of compassion inside you. Learn to follow the flow of God’s divine love. He will direct your paths and show you where and how to express it”.
3. Live one day at a time
This week I found myself humming to the tune of Daniel O’Donnell’s song “One Day at a Time Sweet Jesus”. Please look it up on YouTube and listen to it. I like the verse that says “just give me the strength to do everyday what I have to do. Yesterday is gone and tomorrow may never be mine…”
When you learn how to live one day at a time, you also learn how to choose to be happy. Although the choice to be happy may not always be an easy one, it is one you can make regardless of the circumstances. When you learn to look at what is left instead of what you have lost making this choice becomes easier.
Living one day at a time also requires that you live a life of simplicity. I find that when I practice living one day at a time, I tend to be more fulfilled. I am learning that in order for me to always choose happiness I should not worry about things that are beyond my control.
I like what Joel Osteen had to say on this point,
“Happiness is a decision you make not an emotion you feel.” He then reminds us thus “aim at enjoying the journey not the destination. In this world we will never arrive at a place where everything is perfect and we have no more challenges”.
4. Remember Contentment is Key
There is no way we can talk about making a choice to be happy without addressing contentment. In order to get to where you want to be, you have to first learn how to be content with our current circumstances. Joel Osteen advises us as follows:
“Wherever you are in life, make the most of it and be the best you can be”.
This week, I request you to meditate on the scripture that says “one person gives freely yet gains even more; another withholds unduly but comes to poverty”. After meditating, make a plan of how you are going to purpose to live life as a giver and make a choice to be happy.