The Guideposts executive editor shares how to give and grow spiritually.
There’s something that happens to me about once a month that always shakes me out of my spiritual torpor and makes me realize I’m meant to be doing a little better in the “Love your neighbor as yourself” department.
It’ll all start out innocently enough. I will have asked someone to do me a favor, maybe not even that big a favor, but big enough that it’s going to have cost them some time and energy. I won’t hear from the person for days or weeks and I’ll start fretting, wishing they could just do what I asked. How hard would it be? Don’t I deserve it?
Then just in the middle of my irritation, I’ll get a phone call or an email from someone asking me to do a big favor. The timing is never ideal, the request seems presumptuous if not outlandish. I’ll feel burdened and put upon and start thinking about all the ways I can say no. I delay, I procrastinate, I avoid the request that’s sitting in the inbox. Then it dawns on me: “Someone is asking me to do the kind of nice thing that I’m expecting for myself.”
This might seem small in the area of spiritual growth, but I think it’s HUGE. It must be something that makes the angels weep. If we want the heaven and earth from God, shouldn’t we be willing to offer a small piece of it to X or Y?
So here’s my suggestion—I’m making a mental note to myself. When you’re feeling a little blocked in your spiritual life, when you’re stymied, look at those good things that you can do for others. No good deed goes unpunished? I’m waiting for the moment when I can tally up more giving from me than I’ve ever been given.
Rick Hamlin is the executive editor at GUIDEPOSTS.