Giving: Life’s Great Privilege

giving

I joined my church 3 years ago. I made a financial contribution soon after. I can’t remember if it was a tithe or if I gave towards a charity initiative. What I recall was that I got an email about the church’s accountability. It detailed the amount I donated and maybe what projects it would be used for. I was very irritated.

I knew the church’s antecedents and trusted its leadership. So I wondered why I was being bothered with financial details. I wrote back requesting that I be taken off their mailing list. Permanently.

There’s this initiative I started giving to last year – Adopt A Camp. They focus on Internally Displaced Persons in Nigeria. While on holiday, I was tagged in a tweet about their year-end report. I retweeted to help them amplify the cause, then promptly removed myself from the tagged photo. I haven’t read the report. Again, I trust the founders of the organisation. It is their job to be concerned about the intimate details of operations and financial management and not mine.

This year, I will serve on the Board of a new NGO. I’m excited about the project but know in advance I won’t be reading many reports.

Some time ago, I tracked my daily spending and produced a categorised spreadsheet of my financial activity for 2 years. My happiest moment was seeing that I gave out more than I spent on myself in those 2 years. I felt very accomplished. Everything clicked into place in that moment.

For me, giving is a sacred privilege. I am not doing anybody a favour by giving. If I have, I give. If I don’t have, I don’t give. It’s quite simple really. And there are some causes that are particularly dear to my heart. I believe giving is part of the cycle of life. I cannot sleep on more than one mattress at a time or eat more than a certain amount of food everyday. What am I supposed to do with the extra? Give it out, of course! It makes all the sense in the world.

When I give, I don’t micromanage my gift. It’s gone. I promptly forget the details and hate to be reminded.

You should give more. I think it does more for the soul of the giver than the circumstances of the receiver. There are certain realms of imagination that accompany a large heart. There are certain conversations God will have with you because he knows you will freely teach his children. One of the reasons I’m determined to write more this year is to make room for more revelation. As long as I’m constantly sharing what I learn, I create space for more to be given to me.

Go ahead. Make a list of causes you’re passionate about and identify how you can give towards them. Don’t be a lazy giver. Don’t be satisfied with outsourcing your giving through church alone. Be engaged. Do more. Care more. Open your eyes and heart and become aware of the circumstances of those in your world. May God bless your giving.

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