The spiritual life is often viewed from the vantage point of long-term benefits. We might not reap rewards in this life, but in the life to come… goes the thinking. If we decide to take on something in the short-term which we perceive to be difficult, time-consuming, and full of problems, it is usually because we believe the long-term benefits will be greater than the short-term struggles. Meditation and prayer are two examples. The goal of an eternal dwelling place has worked wonders to motivate individuals towards better daily living and also to motivate the practice of abstinence.
In the area of giving, again we look to long-term benefits versus short-term gains. To give without thoughts of return is true giving, and can have both short-term and long-term benefits. However, to give for the sake of getting is short-sided. It may taste like honey at first, but in the end it is poisonous and bitter. Giving from the heart without restrictions on the gift or expectations of return is true giving. It may seem difficult — may even seem bitter — but in the end, true giving will taste like honey and feed not only your soul, but also those touched by you. As we consider decisions we think could make our lives more difficult in the present and foreseeable future, let us weigh those difficulties against the long-term gain that could be achieved.
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Our purpose is to help individuals to heal who have been injured by religion or the religious. We welcome your comments and questions.