Solicitations flood my daily mail and web pages, each one insisting its urgency as a business investment. Every product and service, from educational institutions to fitness programs, claims a high return on investment, or ROI. I expect a return on some purchases, but have received disappointing results with many. Most expenditures of my resources remain a gamble at best.
Yet a certain lifelong investment brings exponential benefits, and it’s one you might not expect. I pour out material, emotional, and spiritual blessings without a risk of losing them. In fact, the benefits increase as I invest without expecting a return. Generous motives must compel the investment for the optimal ROI to take effect. The secret life asset? Volunteer work.
While endeavors to help others must begin with unselfish motives, the unexpected benefits outweigh any investments we make. I can’t list all of the rewards I’ve received from giving in a single blog post, but here are a few.
1. Illuminating Life Purpose
No volunteer work proves a total waste. With each act of service, I learn more about God’s design for my life–including what isn’t my design. I shine and glow as a teacher. My attempts to serve in hospitality or cleaning roles exposed far less skill in those areas, but my contributions still helped people. Even my worst performances in service offered support to someone in need.
2. Fellowship with Generous Souls
None of us claim perfection, but servants offer their best efforts to a group cause. Volunteers inspire me to improve my own soul’s attitude. Charity work introduced me to many of my dearest friends. And my eagerness to meet more of these precious folks will never diminish.
3. Intrinsic Rewards
The amazing sense of humility-frosted exhilaration which emanates from participating in blessing another person’s life can neither be weighed nor described in words. How can I calculate the value of a child who thanks me for teaching what they’d never been able to grasp? Or an invalid who thanks our children’s ministry for caring as no one else has? How do you estimate the worth of renewed hope glimmering in someone’s eyes? Such investments extend into the eternal realms and cannot be measured yet. I feel a hint of the highest ROI splashing back on my soul, but cannot foresee how far the blessing will extend.
These few benefits represent a taste of volunteer work’s greatest, yet unexpected returns. I don’t have time to expound upon all the bonus perks like job opportunities, free training, and improved emotional wellness. To enjoy these life-optimizing effects and more, try volunteering yourself. And let me know how the experience affected you.
I look forward to reading your comments.