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Part Three: Where Your Treasure is, your heart is also. (Luke 12:34)

One of the greatest gifts that you can give someone this holiday season and everyday is the gift of yourself by sharing your time, talents and treasures. You can make a huge difference in the lives of others just by investing your gifts in more ways than you might think.  I believe that true giving begins in the heart and compels us to do good things. You should not be influenced by guilt and shame but driven by the idea that you are making an impact by pouring out of yourself.

Today I want to introduce you to the term “servant leader.” A servant leader is defined as one who leads as a “servant-first’ versus one who leads as a “leader first”. The servant leader leads with his heart and the leader first leads with his head. The main difference between the two is the servant-first will make sure that other people’s highest priority needs are being served.  This holiday season become a servant leader and make a difference in the lives of others and your community by making someone else the priority.

Here are six good reasons to look beyond yourself and give to other this holiday season. (According to a study conducted by Allan Luks the author of “The Healing Power of Doing Good.)

▪    Helping contributes to the maintenance of good health, and it can diminish the effect of diseases and disorders serious and minor, psychological and physical.

▪    A rush of euphoria, followed by a longer period of calm, after performing a kind act is often referred to as a “helper’s high,” involving physical sensations and the release of the body’s natural painkillers, the endorphins. This initial rush is then followed by a longer-lasting period of improved emotional well-being.

▪    Stress-related health problems improve after performing kind acts. Helping reverses feelings of depression, supplies social contact, and decreases feelings of hostility and isolation that can cause stress, overeating, ulcers, etc. A drop in stress may, for some people, decrease the constriction within the lungs that leads to asthma attacks.

▪    Once we establish an “affiliative connection” with someone – a relationship of friendship, love, or some sort of positive bonding – we feel emotions that can strengthen the immune system.

▪    Adopting an altruistic lifestyle is a critical component of mental health.

▪    Regular club attendance, volunteering, entertaining, or faith group attendance is the happiness equivalent of getting a college degree or more than doubling your income.

I only listed a few of the benefits that were listed in the study to give you a little  flavor of the rewards that come as a result of giving. Giving this holiday season should not just a seasonal or one time thing. It should be apart of you daily stewardship living.

The bible says in 2 Corinthians 9:6-8 (NIV):“Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.”

In all that you do you should sow generously – even when you give the gift of yourself.

Call to Action:

Be a servant leader this holiday season and everyday.

Lead with your heart.

Giving of yourself is a stewardship principle that should be practiced everyday.

When you give, sow generously the rewards are bountiful.

Luke: 12:34 (NIV) : Where your treasure is, your heart will be there also.

The tenants of stewardship living challenge you to be responsible with the time, talent and treasure that God has entrusted in your care.  This holiday season I am going to spend time connecting with you regarding your treasure.

When we think of treasure we most often think of a concentration of riches that was lost or forgotten until rediscovered, like buried jewels and big gold coins. For the sake of this blog let define treasure as something of immense value that you have in your current possession or sphere of influence, like your material wealth (finances, car, clothes, jewelry etc) and your relationship like your friends, family and neighbors.  For the next couple of weeks we will be examining your treasure through the lens of the holiday season.

It is my desire that you are inspired to be good steward over these three areas of your life: Time, Talent, Treasure. Time, you must learn to manage your time; talent you have skills and gifts and lastly treasure, your finances need to managed appropriately. All of these areas work together, when they are managed properly you will be able to become A BETTER YOU!

Written By Pastor George B. Thompson for Elev8.com

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