Today I walked up to the Salvation Army bucket and plunked a big bill in. Are you impressed? Don’t be.
I’d been doing some Christmas shopping and feeling a bit guilty as I walked past the bell ringer with my bags. She was the second one of the morning! I knew I would give at some point, so my guilt wasn’t high, but I realized Christmas is coming soon. They need the money now!
EASY TO PROCRASTINATE IN GIVING…AND NOT GIVE AT ALL!
One year, I decided to give, but was always too busy and never got it done. My arms were always too full. It was always too inconvenient to stop and grab money out of my purse. I was out of time. I was overloaded with presents, details, preoccupations…everything that had to do with me and mine.
You know the drill? There was always an excuse…and the giving never got done. I was too busy to do even the simplest thing (giving money) to help those in need. It’s easy. I don’t have to be involved. It doesn’t take a lot of time. It takes very little effort. All I have to do is plunk some money in the bucket. What could be easier?
But I didn’t make the time to think of others, especially the needy that year. This year, I wanted to get my money in earlier.
I CAN GIVE, BUT AM I BEING GENEROUS, OR JUST DOING MY DUTY TO GET AN OBLIGATION OUT OF THE WAY?
Today, as I was rushing around in the rain, I decided to be proactive and put money in the bucket for a one time donation. Then I could be done with it and not have to worry about feeling guilty when I walk past the ever present bell ringer. I agree, it wasn’t the best motive.
I was just trying to get it done. That’s the mode I’m in right now! We’re headed out of town soon and the deadlines are caving in on me!
Sometimes, it is easier to give money and stay uninvolved with those who are truly needy.Sometimes, it is easier to give money and stay uninvolved with those who are truly needy. Click To Tweet
AHH! PERFECTIONISM…THE SLUGGARD’S SHIELD
I can become reactionary from guilt but not have a generous heart. I can also fail to give out of plain old laziness! Imagine.
This evening, in my pensive moments, I realize that my “generosity” wasn’t that at all! I don’t like feeling guilty. I don’t like thinking about people, especially children, being uncomfortable this time of year…or any time for that matter.I realize that my generosity wasn't that at all! I just don't like feeling guilty. Click To Tweet
WHAT ARE MY MOTIVES IN GIVING? MY COMFORT? OR GENUINE CARE FOR THE NEEDY?
Often, I give because I don’t want to have the guilt hanging over my head. I’m not really being generous. I’m just lazy. I’d rather put money in a pot (not a bad thing at all) than get involved with people…at least some days.
It can be discouraging to see this side of my brokenness. I am not the kind, generous person I would like to be…that I have often thought I was. Even my motives when I do a good thing are so mixed. But the good news is that God is graciously making me aware. He forgives my cold heart…and changes it.
GOD IS ABOUT CHANGE. HE CHANGES US FROM THE INSIDE OUT!
He provides Godly people around me who remind me by their lifestyles…and often their need, that there are those around me who are needy, more than I am. I need to look at them and care for them. I need to not be so preoccupied with myself and my interests. I need to keep growing in grace as God enables and spurs me on.He provides Godly people around me who remind me by their lifestyles...and often their need, that there are those around me who are needy, more than I am. Click To Tweet
He challenges me by the examples of those around me who manage their money well…and who give liberally. How can I give more? How can I manage the gifts God has given me better? How can I show the love of Christ to those in need?
Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father,inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’
Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’
And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’ (Matthew 25:34-40)
This was written 12/16/2011. It challenged me in an area I needed to be challenged…again! Maybe you will find it helpful.