Getting ahead in life
Jesus in teaching His disciples said, if any man desired greatness he must learn to be the servant of all (Mark 9:35). He continued in the next chapter, by saying, “And whoever of you desires to be first shall be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” (Mark 10:44-45). Jesus was showing His disciples that His sense of greatness was embedded in His service to humanity. He was not asking what the world could do for Him, but what He could do for the world, and how much He could give for the world. The Bible goes on to reveal that He gave it all, and for that reason He was far exalted by God (Phil.2:5-9)
If you desire to be constantly rewarded in life in great quantity and quality (or you are interested in getting ahead in life), you must make up your mind to make increasing quality and quanity contributions in life. Zig Ziglar put it this way when he said “you can have anything you want in life if you just help enough other people get what they want”. Our decisions to act are usually motivated towards making us happy. In essence, you can increase how happy you are and how much of life you enjoy by making others happy and helping them in achieving and fulfilling their own vision in life.
Jesus taught this as the law of sowing and reaping. We’ve probably all heard “give and it shall be given to you, in a good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over”. Too often we hear this in the context of financial giving, however, it is interesting to know that Jesus was teaching this not in the context of finances, but as a life principle. Prior to making the statement on giving, He talked about loving one’s enemies, refusing to judge and condemn others, and forgiving others. He was in essence teaching that if we wanted to receive love from others, mercy, grace and forgiveness, we should be generous in our giving of the same. He then generalized it in Luke 6:38 in reference to giving being a universal principle for reward in life.
Understand that the law of sowing and reaping works. He did not say give and it might be given, He said it will be given. In Ralph Waldo Emerson’s essay Compensation, he said, “The longer you put in without getting out, the greater will be your return when it finally comes.” The truth is that life is lived at its best with a benevolent heart. Your reward is directly proportional to how much you help others get ahead in life.
Our responsibility as members of society is to find the best way to be of value and service to society. You should always be asking, what’s needed? Who can I help? How can I help? When you offer service or give, it creates a debt owed to you. Don’t get this wrong; I am not suggesting that you should do things for people with the expectation that at some point in the future, they will be obligated to pay you back. This type of giving is selfish and not rooted in love. True giving must be rooted in love, it is giving and offering service because it proceeds from a generous heart. A heart that’s willing to bless others. Although when an act of good is done for someone, the person feels a sense of obligation to repay the good because of their appreciation. There is also the flip side; there are some egomaniacs who believe that every act of good to them is deserving, and they feel no sense of appreciation to good done for them. These type of people have an issue with pride, and their pride will eventually be their downfall.
If you carefully look at the universal law of sowing and reaping, you will find that it does not imply that you reap where you sow, rather you reap what you sow (Gal.6:7). Did you know that most people have gotten rich through their giving? Wealth is created when value is created. Your service to society creates wealth. If you are preoccupied with offering services to society, then society will forever be indebted to you. The rich and wealthy are those who have gotten besides themselves and have learned to give beyond what’s required of them.
Carefully examine your life, your career or your business. What model are you operating on? Are you focused on getting from others, or are you focused on giving. The one who takes never lasts long enough to enjoy it. It is the givers that are rewarded in life. Become a giver; let your motivation always be a benevolent heart. Look around you and look for ways to help others achieve what they desires. Be of service to others, because at the end of it all, the success of our lives is measured in the number of lives we have positively touched.
Be clear on what you desire in life. Take a moment to pen down a list of different things you desire to achieve in life, or prepare a “bucket list”. Then ask yourself what’s needed to achieve everything on your list. As you identify what’s needed, commit yourself to finding someone else in the same need, and offer yourself in service and giving to the person’s dreams and vision. In so doing you are setting yourself up for your own success.
So what do you think? In what areas are you currently giving? In what areas can you increase your contribution?