When I feel like there’s nothing left, when I’m under enormous pressure, when my life and work are chaotic – even then, I can give more – to my family, to my team, to my friends, to future leaders. And so can you.
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I wrote previously about a life-changing experience that taught me I could give more. Check out that article – it will add value to this one.
You’re Doing It
You’re busy. And you’re facing incredible challenges. And yet, you are giving – a lot.
You’re giving more by making sure non-profits in your community get the funding they need to continue to do their great work.
Or you’ve connected with a ministry initiative in your church – you’ve found a real cause that’s bigger than anything you’ve ever been a part of. And you’re making a huge difference.
Maybe you’re volunteering during the week or on weekends, doing simple tasks, behind the scenes. And very few people know about it. And you love it.
Or like others, you’re fighting very real challenges in your community – coordinating events, running races, giving to causes, praying for people.
Maybe you’re fostering kids who need your love more than anything in the world.
Or maybe you’ve made the decision to adopt precious children. You’ve taken the bold step of bringing a life into your home, and you’re giving more than you ever thought you could.
Been There, Done That
Maybe that’s not you.
You may be thinking, I’ve tried giving – and it just didn’t work for me. I’ve been there, done that – never again!
I may not know your story, but I know a lot of stories. And I have a bunch of messy stories of my own.
Maybe you were generous and somebody criticized you. Maybe they were ungrateful.
Maybe you poured hundreds of hours into someone’s life. And they got their life turned around and on track. Then they went right back to the crappy way they were living before.
Don’t let that bad experience or a series of bad experiences – the hurts, the disappointments, the frustrations that you experienced when you gave – rob you of your life’s purpose.
Keep moving. Keep deciding. Keep learning. Keep leading. And do this one very simple (but very difficult) thing – give more.
Check out this powerful video that illustrates the importance of giving more when you feel like you have nothing left to give…
In my article, You Have More to Give, I told Dennis’ story. His life was falling apart. He needed help.
At the same time Sarah and I were navigating incredibly challenging circumstances at home and at work. But we decided to help him anyway – to give generously.
The first few months, I listened a lot to Dennis. I tried to encourage him.
I helped him balance his checkbook. I showed him how to use financial software to setup a budget and track spending.
I mentored him in his supervisory role at work.
We bought him a computer.
We helped him get connected to a new church.
I remember the night we sat in the Blue Orleans Restaurant in Chattanooga, Tennessee when he told me he was going to propose to his girlfriend.
A few months later, I received another phone call. His tone was serious. He said, “There’s something I’ve been wanting to ask you.”
“What is it?” I asked. “I’ll do anything for you.”
He said, “I know you would. I’d like for you to be my best man. Would you do that?”
His request was totally unexpected. I mean – I knew he was getting married. And we were planning to attend his wedding. But he has six brothers – and lots guy friends! Why me?
He explained, “You’ve been a great friend to me. Your influence has profoundly impacted my life. I can’t think of anyone that I’d rather have as my best man.”
I had never been asked this question before. (And I’ve never been asked since!) Within days, I began researching what a best man was supposed to do.
One of the responsibilities of the best man is to make the toast for the bride and groom. This is generally preceded by the best man speech. (Click here to read the best man speech I wrote for Dennis, one of my best friends in all the world.)
It’s Worth It
Over the next couple of years, I gave Dennis opportunities to grow into leadership positions – first within our team, then leading a department, then I asked him to lead a regional campus. He is currently serving as a University Administrator in Columbia, South Carolina.
A few weeks ago, he was offered a position with the largest professional services company in the world. In just a few weeks, Dennis’ sweet wife will complete her Doctor of Physical Therapy degree at the University of South Carolina.
And both of them are still in their 20’s.
Giving doesn’t always turn out the way we planned. There will be times when you feel like it was a waste. Give anyway. Serve anyway. Care anyway. Work anyway.
And it’s worth it.
Question: What’s the number one thing that motivates you to give, even when you don’t feel like it?