Too many pastors are afraid to talk about money.  Even though Barna says you have to give three sermons in a row about tithing for the message to get through, or preach about it several times a year.

Now new scientific research tells us to preach giving as a way to feel better about themselves.

New research reveals that when individuals dole out money for gifts for friends or charitable donations, they get a boost in happiness while those who spend on themselves get no such cheery lift.

Elizabeth Dunn, a psychologist at the University of British Columbia, led the study that will be detailed in the March 21 issue of the journal Science.

“I think it’s a lot of factors of prosocial spending that are responsible for these happiness boosts,” study researcher Lara Aknin of UBC told LiveScience. “I think it could be that people feel good about themselves when they do it; it could be the fact that it strengthens their social relationships; it could just be the act of spending time with other people.”

“Regardless of how much income each person made,” Dunn said, “those who spent money on others reported greater happiness, while those who spent more on themselves did not.”

So don’t feel bad about preaching money.   When you teach people to be generous, you are helping them feel better about themselves and their world.

In another experiment, the researchers gave college students a $5 or $20 bill, asking them to spend the money by that evening. Half the participants were instructed to spend the money on themselves, and the remaining students to spend on others.

Participants who spent the windfall on others — which included toys for siblings and meals eaten with friends — reported feeling happier at the end of the day than those who spent the money on themselves.

It wouldn’t hurt the church’s bottom line, either.

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