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June 8, 1992

When Others Flourish, You Flourish

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Most people are familiar with the financial model that possesses residual returns—constant dividends are paid on something that never touches the principal. In the same way, people who give sacrificially gain perpetual returns. Their investment into the lives of others continues to grow as those people grow and mature in their projects, families, and vocations.
Think about people who’ve invested well. Even during difficult times, they continue to flourish financially. Why? Unless it is pure luck their portfolio reflects some diversity, some depth and some surprising yield on the other side of the initial investment. The same principle applies with people and causes. How do we continue to flourish when times are hard – emotionally, physically, spiritually? We receive dividends from people who we’ve sacrificially invested in.
Generally I believe that we should invest in people first and causes second. This is not a fast rigid rule but I try to abide by it when possible. Causes have a way of staying around or coming back around. But when you find a passionate leader who has attached their passion and calling to a cause, jump in with a sacrificial investment.
Giving to others infuses our own lives with blessing. I could be having a lousy day, and then receive an email from a friend I’ve invested my time and energy with over the years and find total blessing and lift simply from hearing about his progress and how God is blessing him. That’s the beauty of pouring into others. That’s how I flourish even when the days seem to be withering me away.

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