The Gift of Giving

Am I a cheerful giver?

This post is a mess of thoughts. But, I figured that I cannot be the only one working through these things in my head, especially around the holiday season. So, please bear with the disorganization and share your thoughts! I would love some candid advice and discussion.

A while ago, I felt God calling me to give a certain amount of money. It was an amount that at first made me uncomfortable so acting on this would be just as much about trusting God as helping others. Once I finally made up my mind to act on this feeling, I was SO happy about it. One, because God is faithful and showed that to me. Two, because I felt free not having that amount that I felt I should give away hanging over my head. Also, it just feels amazing to send excess resources to organizations that could really use it.

However, I need to rethink the way I give. I always look up organizations and give to those that, to the best of my knowledge, are really making an impact. However, if their financial statements are not easily available, I won’t contact them to ask for them. Also, if I have a larger amount to give (large for miser college student me, tiny compared to most people), I do not break it up into installments or designate it for a purpose, which I’ve heard is the most impactful way to give. Besides my monthly automatic contributions to my church and other things I am closely affiliated with, it is almost like when I decide to give I want to purge immediately just so I can cross that off my to do list.

I do not think this is being a good donor. However, I am not sure how to improve. I need to make more of an effort to be knowledgeable of organizations and assist them in remaining transparent by asking the right questions. Because of laziness, I so far haven’t done that.

So, I guess this jumbled up mess of thoughts is meant to encourage you (and me) as we head into the holiday season to not just give because it feels good or we are supposed to, but give in a way that matters and that glorifies God. This is not to say that we can’t drop a few dollars into the red Salvation Army buckets outside of the store, or donate toys to our church or workplace drives, even if we don’t know for sure where they are going. But, for our own personal donations- the ones we seek out- I think there is a responsibility, to ourselves, the organizations, and the God who allowed us to have that money to begin with, to be a “good steward”.

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