Setting the tone for a new month. Happiness that sticks

Carry each other’s burdens and so you will fulfill the law of Christ.

Galatians 6:2
– Max working with a resident

Today is March 1st. I want to set the tone for this new month by talking, briefly, about public service. With a little help from Max Retriever.

Together we enjoyed another productive morning visiting the residents at Cadence Living in Raleigh. We have been there often enough that we are getting to be a familiar presence. There is a sense of expectation now when people see Max, and the smiles are genuine.

I’m mentioning this in today’s post because I ran across some research recently that explored the generally accepted fact that “giving makes people feel good.” One of the subjects complained that she didn’t get the warm feelings she was expecting every time she was generous.

The problem with such a statement is that if we are generous in order to “get” a certain feeling, then we are missing the whole point! Generosity is not about us, it is about what we can do for others, it is about living our faith out loud, it is telling the truth about the Gospel of Love simply by being.

Later, however, the study somewhat redeemed itself when it found a direct correlation between the level of personal involvement and “feeling good inside.”

In other words, simply giving financially did very little for the donor. Becoming directly involved with real people and hands-on help, however, resulted in “the best feeling of my life!”

Again, I am not sure that is the best reason to be generous, and – of course – we need to be generous both with our time and with our money, but it certainly doesn’t hurt (and it is no surprise) that helping others comes with significant emotional benefits.

Max knows this. But more than that, Max shares himself – selflessly – because that is who he understands himself to be.

God is love. If we are created in God’s image, then isn’t that our true nature too?

Images: Max working with residents at assisted living. All photos by Anna Krussow


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s