Here’s a secret of financial freedom that almost nobody talks about — one of the best ways to grow is by giving money away.
I know, this seems impossible. By think about this: Wouldn’t you rather spend time with a giver than a taker?
I love hearing actors talk about what it’s like to work with their co-stars. There’s no shortage of divas in the entertainment industry, but the people who earn the most praise from their peers are usually the most generous collaborators.
A generous actor doesn’t try to hog the spotlight or steal the biggest laughs. Instead, they help the people around them succeed. They may not walk away from each performance as the breakout star. But they’ll have plenty of opportunities to act again, because everyone enjoys working with them. Divas, on the other hand, fizzle out and fade into obscurity.
We see this principle at work in all sorts of places. In sports, in music, in comedy and even in friendships, it’s the generous people who succeed. And the same thing is true in our financial lives. One of the best ways to get ahead is by giving money away.
Let’s look at something Solomon wrote in a pair of sayings found in Proverbs 11:24-25.
One person gives freely, yet gains even more;
another withholds unduly, but comes to poverty.
A generous person will prosper;
whoever refreshes others will be refreshed.
Solomon was the wisest person who ever lived, and he understood something counter-intuitive: Hoarding resources can seem like the best way to financial security, but it’s not. The people who enjoy the most freedom are givers, not takers.
There’s a lot we can learn from this proverb. I want to show you three takeaways you can apply to your own financial habits and attitudes.
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Now, back to the topic at hand:
Solomon is making a bold claim here: We actually gain financially by giving money away. How does this work? Here are three principles from the proverb that explain it.
1) Taking is a trap.
Taking and hoarding resources and can make you feel safe, but that safety doesn’t last. You were made to be a giver, contributing to society and making a positive impact on the world. But if you only focus on your own success, you’ll become like a diva nobody wants to work with. Having lots of money but no friends is not a life of freedom.
2) Giving is an opportunity.
Every time you practice generosity is an opportunity to grow in financial freedom. Your money directs your heart, so giving to other people helps you take your heart’s focus off of your problems and releases you from the grip of money. The goodwill you create will pay off for you later down the road.
3) Blessing is a promise.
Solomon doesn’t leave any room for doubt: A generous person will prosper. God blesses a lifestyle of generosity. If you want financial freedom, lean into this promise. As you bless the people around you, they will bless you too.
If you’re struggling to making ends meet, giving money away may seem impossible. But like freedom, generosity starts in your heart. You can develop the habit by giving a few dollars at a time when you’re able, or by contributing your time to a worthy cause when you’re short on cash.
And as your resources grow, your generosity will grow too. And that will lead you a long way toward living the life you were made for.