As we get closer and closer to the holiday season, giving season, I want to give a word or two on giving. I give; you give; we all give. We give of our time, our talents, and our money. We give gifts for birthdays, during the holidays, and at weddings. Our tithes are given, and we give to the annual United Way campaign and even the PTA. With all this giving, do we really give the way we should, and more importantly, do we think about giving like we should?
Giving is Good
When I teach spending plan classes, one of the things I do is ask the class what the three things that money is good for?. I have categorized all we do with money into three categories and have written about them here. I ask this question to help them to see and think differently about spending and planning to spend their money. It’s good to spend money; I just believe in planning to spend money. The same with giving – giving is good.
I get some interesting answers from the class. Sometimes someone will blurt out, “money is good for earning, or it’s good for wasting, or we make money; money is good for making, right?”
I really get a kick out of the initial responses.
Eventually, after we get over the initial answers, someone will say spending or a category of spending like gas, shopping, or groceries. Then, someone says saving or investing, which takes care of the second category, saving/investing. And then, however, we get stuck. We cannot think of that other category, that other thing we have all done with money – giving. At this point, I continue with the class and tell them we will come back to the third thing later. Usually, I tell them but rarely does anyone guess the answer correctly. It’s good to give.
According to Dictionary.com, giving is the act of presenting voluntarily and without expecting compensation; to bestow. Also, to devote or contribute generously of: to give of oneself; to give of one’s abundance and, to make a gift or gifts; to contribute.
Giving is Biblical
Giving is also biblical. In 2 Corinthians chapter 8 verses 13-14, Paul writes to the church in Corinth:
13 Of course, I don’t mean your giving should make life easy for others and hard for yourselves. I only mean that there should be some equality. 14 Right now you have plenty and can help those who are in need. Later, they will have plenty and can share with you when you need it. In this way, things will be equal.
Giving is about equity. It’s about being a good steward of what you have been given.
Giving is something that we are prompted and not pressured to do. We are often pressured to give during your local United Way campaign or to another cause. In our current economic environment, there is a great need for giving, and many asking for gifts.
Accordingly, when giving and deciding who and what to give to, give on purpose and give to vision.
Give on Purpose
When we give on purpose, we give an established amount for an intended desired result. Giving on purpose is not haphazard but done with a goal in mind. What it is not is giving because of pressure or because of how you feel. You are giving an amount, whether time or money, that you believe will have the intended result. Ask yourself what the cause is. What is the organization doing? Can they do more and then contribute to the cause on purpose.
Give to Vision
When we give to vision, we give to something or someone that is going somewhere. They see a positive that others have not yet seen, the wildest dreams. We are inspired by vision, inspired by these dreams. When vision is visualized, it makes you happy to think about it and see it becoming a reality.
You can give to whatever you like. It is your gift and I encourage you to give. However, giving on purpose and giving to vision allows your gift to be maximized. You are being a good steward of what has been given to you when you give in this way. And it will help you to systematically give and be confident giving more. Thinking about giving in a different way, you will give like no one else. Comment below, I would love to hear from you.