My family and I went out to eat the other night on our way to church and decided to go to the local Panda Express in our town of Niceville. When it came time to pay, we were asked to round-up our total to the next dollar and take the remaining change and donate it to Children’s Miracle Network or some other charity of good cause. I never have a problem with giving in this nature but it made me think about how it was a spur of the moment opportunity to give. Many of life’s opportunities to be generous are just like that. You never know when a need will arise. But I want to address the times when we are to prepare to give.
First, it would behoove us to remember that giving does not only entail giving of our financial means but includes much more than that. If we take the time to inventory all the resources and blessings we have to work with, we will quickly realize that money is but one tool at our disposal. It’s easy to be critical and bemoan what we don’t have that keeps us from helping others, but in the end, those are just excuses to prevent us from having to take action. We make a conscious choice every day on how we are going to give of ourselves and we always give something whether we think we do or not.
As mentioned already, we all give. The results of our giving are determined by where our heart really lies. As a Christian, I and many others who wear that name, decide to give because of what God has given us. A grateful heart is a gracious heart and there should be a marked difference between the generosity of the world and the generosity of a disciple of Christ. Here are some areas I believe we should be outgoing in our giving.
- Worship of God
- Love for one another
- Compassion for people (especially the lost)
Needless to say, that list could continue to grow the more we think about God’s love for us and ways we could return that love.
I wish it weren’t so, but the reality of living in a broken and sinful world is that we are selfish at times. Just as there are good ways to give of ourselves, there are also some very destructive ways that we can give as well. Following is a short list of those.
COMING TO GIVE
“Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work” (2 Corinthians 9:6-8)