On Giving

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Originally posted in May 2015

Since college I’ve tithed. I’d be considered one of those people that has lived a Christian life of marking off my to-dos to make sure I’m in God’s good graces. It’s taken awhile for me to learn to give from a cheerful heart. Not expecting prosperity. Not expecting a “good job”. Giving when it seemed like a chore I think helped lead me to this new place. It took praying over my heart to stop counting the cents to make sure it’s exactly 10%, or questioning writing those checks if money was tight. It took prayer to move me from a place of “you’re only right if you give 10% of your gross income instead of your net” to a place of, just be obedient.
Because 10% is where we should be starting and moving from there.
I don’t put a goal for the end of the year that I hope we give 12, 15, 20% of our income away to charities. I think if I’m putting a goal on myself to increase our charitable giving, I end up making it something for me to feel good about, something that will increase my pride.
What we do make sure to do is to work our budget around where we want to give. Our church tithe never leaves. When we were about to move, we talked to a friend from church who was moving to Israel and we wanted to support him. So we made our budget work around it. We, for awhile, were giving to an organization that helped sex trafficking victims in Asia.
I don’t say that to brag. I say it to prove a point: what we gave/give to are all things that resonate with us in some way. If you’re wanting to give to charities, find ones you can back whole heartedly. There are so many non-profits that are doing amazing things around the world that would love your support.
And give consistently. We’re a part of a church plant here and one of the things our pastor has said is that, while the big one time gifts are wonderful (and he never wants to stop receiving them), it’s the month to month money that makes it all work. That’s what they have to budget off of. So, find a charity you love. Give consistently. Give what you can. It doesn’t need to be a ridiculous amount to be helpful. The consistent giving helps you remember there’s other people, things, places, that need help. That you aren’t the center of the universe. And that you can be a part of something bigger than yourself even if it’s only a few dollars a month.


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