There are spiritual as well as phyical/health benefits to being charitable. We all know giving helps others, whether we give our monies, or time or our knowledge.  However, studies also show that giving is also good for the giver as well — boosting physical and mental health.

Studies find these health benefits associated with giving:

(1) Lower blood pressure

(2) Increased self-esteem

(3) Less depression

(4) Lower stress levels

(5) Longer life

(6) Greater happiness

I can recall occasions when I was called upon to give sacrificially and experienced emense joy. Recently, a local church, in honor of the sacrifice Jesus made on the cross began what they call "The Big Give".  On Easter Sunday morning they ordered takeout and had it delivered during the service. When the delivery man arrived, He had no idea what he was in for. Long story short, the Pastor gave him a $100 tip then invited the congregation to tip him as well, whatever amount God laid on their hearts.  Hundreds of congregants arose quickly and without hesitation began to bless this young man.  To say I was honored, overjoyed, overwhelmed and beyond speechless to be a part of that amazing experience would be an understatement. 
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According to a study published in the International Journal of Psychophysiology, people who gave social support to others had lower blood pressure than people who didn’t.

Researchers also found that people who gave to help others had greater self-esteem, less depression and lower stress levels than those who didn’t.

Biologically, giving can create a “warm glow,” activating regions in the brain associated with pleasure, connection with other people and trust.

There is evidence that, during gift-giving behaviors, humans secrete “feel good” chemicals in our brains, such as serotonin (a mood-mediating chemical), dopamine (a feel-good chemical) and oxytocin (a compassion and bonding chemical).

When researchers from the National Institutes of Health looked at the functional MRIs of subjects who gave to various charities, they found that giving stimulates the mesolimbic pathway, which is the reward center in the brain — releasing endorphins and creating what is known as the “helper’s high.”


SPIRITUAL BENEFITS OF GIVING

1. It brings
order to your life and finances

2. It
demonstrates that God has first place in your life.

3. It stretches
my faith.

4. It reminds me
that I am not in control but God is.

5. I get to
celebrate when lives are changed.

6. I get to
model for my kids what Biblical stewardship looks like.

7. I play a part
in getting the gospel out around the world.

8. It breaks the
grip of greed and selfishness in my life.

9. I get to
invest in something much bigger than me that will last much longer than me.

10. I discover
that I can never out give God!

Luke 6:38, “Give,
and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and
running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it
will be measured to you.”(NIV)

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