The Greater Happiness of Giving
THERE is happiness in receiving gifts. Especially the gifts of God’s Son and of his Word, the Bible, have brought us much happiness. And when Jehovah pours out his spirit upon his servants at local, national and international assemblies, they are made still happier.—Mal. 3:10; Matt. 5:45; Jas. 1:17.
There is a happiness, however, that is far greater than that which could possibly come from receiving such gifts, and that is the happiness that comes from giving to others.* Were that not so, then we, who receive God’s gifts, would be happier than God who bestows them upon us, and that is unthinkable. (1 Tim. 1:11, NW) In his unselfish giving he has set the perfect pattern, and by imitating him we also shall know the greater happiness that comes from giving.
Christ Jesus followed his Father’s perfect example. Both by word and by actions he demonstrated and counseled that “there is more happiness in giving than there is in receiving”. (Matt. 20:28; Luke 14:12-15; Acts 20:35, NW) Unselfishly he gave to men who had nothing they could give in return. He taught his apostles to do the same. He gave them the truth and miraculous powers and then sent them forth to preach and to heal the sick, to cast out demons and to raise the dead. In carrying out those instructions they received much happiness. They were to use none of these benefits for themselves. They had received free, they were to give free.—Matt. 10:1-15.
Paul also set us a good example. He freely gave of the good news of Christ’s ransom sacrifice and the hope of the heavenly kingdom, publicly and from house to house. And so unselfishly was he concerned for his brothers’ welfare that he admonished “each one with tears”. Rather than be a burden to others, he worked with his hands to provide the things needed by himself and those with him.—Acts 20:20-35, NW.
Jehovah God, his Son Christ Jesus and his apostles have set the pattern for us in this matter of giving. Let us take in the knowledge of God’s Word to the point of overflowing and then give it out. Be like the bubbling spring that overflows, not like the sponge that has to be squeezed. And let us give generously, cheerfully, not begrudgingly, or we shall miss out on much happiness, because only to the extent that we give bountifully shall we reap bountiful happiness.—2 Cor. 9:6, 7, NW.
If our happiness is not overflowing, if we fail to have interesting experiences, then we should ask ourselves, How much preaching are we actually doing? Or is it that we need help to improve our ministry? Others will be happy to help us if we will but be conscious of our spiritual need and ask and accept help.—Matt. 5:3, NW.
There is no pleasure in living without happiness. God’s Word gives us the secret of happiness so that we can have it day in and day out throughout the years. That secret is, Give to others of what we have received.
For details see The Watchtower, January 1, 1953.