Over the next 2 weeks, I am exploring principles of mental and spiritual strength. I will share characteristics that strong people exhibit and ways in which you can cultivate them in your own life.
Characteristic #5 – Strong People Give and Bless
How many images have you seen of people hoarding toilet paper? We all laughed at photos of shopping carts piled high with toilet paper, cleaning supplies and dog food. As uncertainty grew and worries mounted, we turned to protecting ourselves. Some people call it “stocking up.” Psychologists call it “hoarding.” Regardless of the language, it is the human tendency to put ourselves first and take.
New Testament Greek scholar William Barclay describes the word used for greed in the Bible, pleonexia, as an “accursed love of having,” which “will pursue its own interests with complete disregard for the rights of others, and even for the considerations of common humanity.”
We are all susceptible to greed and its consequences. One of the most devastating of which is a sense of entitlement. As our weekly rhythms are disrupted, we react with a sense of “but this doesn’t apply to me.” I heard a college student say, “but I deserve this spring break trip” when confronted with the CDC’s recommendation not to travel and gather in groups. Please don’t mistake my intention in sharing that comment. I am not singling out this college student, but rather using it to challenge each and every one of us to think of where entitlement has seeped into our thinking and directing the ways we behave.
One of the problems of entitlement is that it keeps us from moving forward. Instead of being creative, innovating, and working toward something new, entitlement keeps us trapped in what we believe we should have or want to have. As Dr. Barclay says, it is an “accursed love of having.”
Instead, we are called as disciples to be a blessing to others and to give. On Monday, during the first blog in this series, I addressed how important and healthy it is to grieve real losses we are experiencing. But we can’t stay there. And one of the healthiest things we can do to build emotional and spiritual fortitude is to find ways to give.
We have all heard, “it is better to give than to receive,” and scientists prove it to be true! Study after study, many featured here in this article by Psychology Today, show that people have greater life satisfaction, lower blood pressure, and live longer! Jesus commanded us to give because we are made to be givers.
Mentally and strong people are givers, not takers. There are so many needs in our neighborhoods and communities at this moment. How can you be a blessing? Your church has opportunities to show up with the love and light of Christ.
Our online course, Your LIfe Dreams, will help you to dream and plan even in this disruption. A life well-lived is winning with your life AND helping others win with their lives. Build your mental and spiritual strength by naming how you will give and bless with your whole life.
I would love to hear how you are blessing others. What is a goal that you set that is keeping you focused? How do you play the ball where the monkey drops it? Share with me your story at [email protected]. Be strong and courageous!