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Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Counter-cultural Giving #5: Initiative

This is my last post in this series about giving, but it is certainly not the last word.  Almost daily we receive telephone calls asking us to donate to various causes.  Solicitations may also come in our mailboxes or inboxes.  One of our instincts is to resent these requests and become hardened to them.
   I do not suggest we say, “Yes” to everyone who asks for our money.  We do need to be discerning since some causes are more worthy than others.  Instead, we can be the kind of people who give before we are asked.  By setting aside an amount in our monthly budgets for giving, we can be prepared for any requests made of us.  As well, we can tell the agency asking for our dollars that we have already given our monthly allotment to another cause.  When we say, “No,” it will not be out of stinginess or hard-heartedness.
  Some people may find it helpful to match their giving amount to another line item in their spending budget.  For example, giving away an amount equal to the electricity bill can remind us how powerful our gifts will be in the lives of others in need.  Another family may choose to take the amount usually spent on eating out as their giving guide.
   The Macedonian churches are cited in 1 Corinthians 8:4 as having “urgently pleaded with us for the privilege of sharing” their resources with the needy.  I’d like to be known as a person who takes initiative when there are clear needs and does not sit back waiting to be asked.

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