Four Things My Parents Taught Me About Giving

The more I reflect on my childhood and upbringing, the more grateful I become. My parents, like many in their generation, were honest, hardworking, and generous.

They never really spoke much about giving, they just gave — time, talents, and treasures. Two powerful lessons that became a visual example for me are:
1. The small, modest church we attended handed a box of annual offering envelopes that were dated for 52 weeks, all Sunday’s. Each Saturday evening, I remember my mother would write a check and place the envelope next to her purse for church the next morning. She never announced this, she rarely missed a Sunday, and she (unknowingly) taught me consistency is key.
2. My father helped an inner-city church occasionally. One time, he purchases a new sound system for the sanctuary. We drove to a downtown music store to pick up the speakers, soundboard, microphones, and cables. The Pastor wept when my Dad brought it to the church and I watched in wonder. My Dad taught me generosity is a lifestyle, not an act.

Here are four simple, yet powerful, things my parents taught me about giving: 
1. Giving teaches us to look beyond our needs.
It breaks the preoccupation with “self” and reminds me that there are deep-seeded needs in others that I can help.
2. Giving teaches me to play a role in the service of others.
Sometimes it’s lifting a burden, meeting a physical need, or answering a prompting to act.
3. Giving teaches me I’m here for a reason and I can make a difference.
My giving matters. I’m thankful my wife, Julie sets aside offerings on a weekly/monthly basis. We strive to be consistent and faithful in all aspects of life.
4. Giving does makes me feel better.
Giving is one way we can reflect the heart of God. It feels right and it feel good! I love the quote, “When you make the world better for others, you make the world better for yourself.”

I am grateful for my parents example and I hope you will take at least one thing from this post that you can use to give in the days to come.

Here’s to your leadership!
– Steve

As a master storyteller, Steve has unparalleled ability to communicate dynamic business and leadership truths through stories, anecdotes and humor. Harness the power of the “number one” predictor of professional success, impact, leadership, high performance and sustainable relationships in business and life. Steve’s highest rated keynote presentation.

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About the Author

Steve Gutzler is the President of Leadership Quest, a Seattle-based leadership development company. Steve is a dynamic, highly-sought-after speaker who has delivered more than 2,500 presentations to a list of clients including Microsoft, Starbucks, the Seattle Seahawks, Pandora Radio, Boeing, Cisco, Starwood Corporation, the Ritz Carlton group, and the U.S. Social Security Administration. He recently was voted #1 by the readership of Huffington Post as the Most Inspirational Leader on Social Media.

A published author on leadership and emotional intelligence, Steve resides near Seattle with his wife Julie where they enjoy time with their three adult children and six grandchildren.