Generous Spirits Gain Opportunities

Tom asks if Dave recommends giving while in debt. Dave says absolutely.

QUESTION: Tom on Twitter asks if Dave recommends giving while in debt. Dave says absolutely.

ANSWER: Absolutely. “Well, Dave, isn’t that oxymoronic? If you give money away, you have less money to get out of debt. How is that mathematically correct?” See, you make the assumption there that your life is a fixed pie. Your life is not a fixed pie.

Rabbi Daniel Lapin, author of Thou Shall Prosper, does a good job of explaining that. He talks about the fact that one of the reasons Jewish people have a tendency to prosper, which is what his book is about, is that they—and anyone else who prospers—understand that all of your opportunities come through people. Something is changed when you are more attractive as a person, and I don’t mean physically attractive, although that helps. Something is changed when you smile, when your spirit is a generous spirit versus a grouchy, angry twerp. Think about it. If you have the opportunity to buy sandwiches at a sandwich shop, and one guy’s a jerk every time you go in there and the other person is an absolute angel and remembers your name every time you walk in there and remembers your order from the last time you were there, who are you going to buy sandwiches from? The sandwiches are the same. You might even pay more for them from the guy who remembers your name and your order and smiles. As a matter of fact, on average, you will. What Rabbi is explaining there is that since your opportunities come through people and the more attractive you are as a person the more opportunities you’re going to have as a person, guess what? You’re going to make more money because nobody brings great deals to jerks unless they’re immature and not wise. At the end of the day, good people get more opportunities. Quality generous people get more opportunities and therefore make more money.

Who is better than someone who is giving? By giving, you change who you are into a more attractive person. You can’t help it. It just happens automatically. Over time, you’re going to end up having the potential to make more money than you would any other way.

Yes, you give while you’re in debt. Do you give irresponsibly, impulsively, and out of control? No. For instance, for those of us who are evangelical Christians, we believe in tithing a tenth of our income to our local church. That’s what we’re taught, what we believe, and what Scripture says, so we tithe. And then I’m going to give more to other things. But as a starter, while you’re in debt, I’m going to do my tenth as a Christian, and that’s all I’m going to do—for now. That’s plenty, by the way. If you never do anything else, you’ll be fine. But as you start making more money, you’ll find it’s easier and easier to give, and as you give, you’re going to make more and more money because you’re going to be more and more generous. Generous people just aren’t all uptight and freaked out and worried about everything. The weird thing is that it actually changes the chemicals in your body, too. When you’re generous, it releases endorphins, proteins and DHEA. You are happier, and you’re more fulfilled and have a sense of winning you haven’t had before. The contrary is when you’re all stressed out and selfish, cortisol is released, which is the self-produced stress drug. It causes anxiety. There’s a chemistry difference. Isn’t that weird? It’s not really that mystical that generous people win. It’s kind of common sensical.

The point is giving changes you, and that’s really why God teaches people of faith to give anyway. It’s not because He needs your money. He doesn’t need your money. He’s God. He’ll take your money if He wants it, and there’ll be a greasy spot where you were sitting. He doesn’t need money. It’s His. Giving causes success, and I just taught you how.