It doesn’t make sense to give money away when you’re trying to reach your financial goals.  In fact, from a mathematical perspective, it’s crazy.

How am I supposed to do what I want to do when I’m giving away 10% (or more) of my income?  How does that help me?

The answer, like the answers to many deep questions, is surprisingly simple:

Giving changes who you are.

Generous giving has a transformative power to it.  When you take money that’s “yours” and you willingly give it away with a generous and cheerful spirit, you change at a deep level.

What are the changes you go through? Here are a few:

– You break the cycle of selfishness.  Instead of always thinking of MY needs, MY wants, MY desires, MY goals, and myself, you strip the gears of selfishness and practice generosity.  Generosity is the antidote to selfishness.

– You broaden your perspective.  Selfishness breeds inward-focus; generosity helps you look out beyond yourself, your home, and even your community.  It helps you look for people and places in need, and gives you a better.

– You increase your chances for success.  Generous people just do better in life.  Proverbs 11:25 says, “The generous will prosper; those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed.”

– You actually feel better about yourself.  Rabbi Daniel Lappin, in the book Thou Shall Prospersays that giving will help you, “feel large, benevolent, and expansive, instead of desperate, mean spirited, and petty.”

The best way to get these benefits is to start today.  Give something away.  Giving your time, energy, and talents is great, and I’m all for that.  But at some point your giving also has to extend to your wallet.  Make giving a regular part of your life, and watch yourself become a new person.

Question: What motivates your giving?  Why do you give?