It breaks all of our hearts to see the long lines at the food banks and the mass numbers who are facing severe economic shortfalls. Just when non-profit and charity services are needed the most, giving to these organizations has declined sharply. As a church we’ve been blessed during this crisis. Because of your ongoing generosity, we’ve been able to be generous with those inside and outside our family who’ve needed some extra help. Thank you.
Even if your bank account has taken a significant hit this season, there is some good news. Your joy of giving to others isn’t tied to what’s in your bank account. Say what? That’s right, the amount of money you can give or want to give does not have to diminish your joy and delight in giving to others. If it did, only the rich would be able to experience this joy.
Paul, in motivating the Corinthian church to help some struggling brothers & sister in Jerusalem, highlighted what God did among the churches in Macedonia. In 2 Corinthians 8, he recounts how they gave richly, even though they were in the midst of their own trial and extreme poverty. They apparently didn’t let their current circumstances determine their desire to joyfully give.
The same challenge could be issued for us in this season of economic challenge. Many have needs but may feel they can’t be generous to meet those needs. Paul would push back and say regardless of your circumstances or the amount you can give, don’t let it stop you from experiencing the joy that comes with giving to others. Here’s 3 keys to excel in giving when things are tough.
- Don’t let physical & financial circumstances determine your joy. Don’t believe the lie that your bank account balance determines your joy. We know the richest in our culture can just as easily struggle with depression & despondency. Our joy is rooted in Jesus’ work in our life. That means when your bank account balance isn’t what you’d like, you can still experience the joy that comes from giving to others because your joy is rooted in something that doesn’t go up & down.
- Don’t let intention rob you of completion. How many times do we let good intentions pass us by and we take no action at all. We may forget or get sidetracked. The moment may pass us by and and opportunity is wasted. Don’t let requests fall by the way side. Take action and bring your intention to completion.
- Let giving be proportional and intentional, rather than incidental and occasional. In other words, you need a strategic plan. Otherwise we just give an amount in the moment that feels good, but may not be in proportion to what we could have given with some forethought. It’s helpful here to consider being a percentage giver. Begin by learning what percentage of your income you are currently giving. Are you surprised? Lower than you’d like? Then what percentage would you like it to be? You may not be able to reach your goal overnight, but make incremental changes every few month and you’ll be surprised what impact you’ll be able to make.