The giving of your time and your money is a key component of the Christian faith. It’s also a hot topic that many of us find cringe-worthy. Have you ever been part of a group that felt as though they always had their hands out? Did it turn you off from participating? The church shouldn’t be about the business of passing the plate only to pad its own pockets. In fact, the act of giving should and does benefit both the giver and the receiver.
Understanding the 5 Ws of giving will lead to a desire to seek out opportunities to give. There are many positive effects that come with donating money and time to charity.
1. Why should you give?
Your faith and finances intersect. Jesus says again and again that the chief competitor for your heart and devotion is your money. Scripture says we can only follow one master. If we are allowing our money to hold us in bondage, then we are not fully following Jesus. Giving is an act of obedience, a way of saying that money is not where you find your security.
Giving is also a way we are in the world but not of the world. It is a way of practicing self-control and loving our neighbors. Jesus wants us to live a life of abundance and happiness. Giving is one of the steps that gets us there.
2. Who benefits from giving?
The obvious answer to who benefits from giving is the receiver. If you are providing a meal for a family who is hungry, then they receive the benefit of life and nourishment. But, you also receive benefits from giving. The Life You Can Save identifies 9 Positive Effects of Donating Money to Charities, and the majority of them benefit the giver.
You should never give to get, but the reality is that giving benefits you as much as or even more than the person or organization you are giving to.
3. What are the benefits of giving?
Did you know that giving has been shown to improve your physical and mental health? It can help lessen depression, lower stress, lower blood pressure, increase self-esteem and has been linked to longer life and greater happiness. There is a high that comes with giving. When we impact someone else’s life for good, it also impacts us.
4. When should you give?
While there are a number of calendar days and holidays set aside for giving (see #NationalNonProfitDay, #CharityDay, #GivingTuesday, #VolunteerDay), it is important to make it a part of your everyday lifestyle. When we, as Jesus followers, truly grasp just how much Jesus loves us, then the natural reaction is an overflow of that love to others. We give because of how much we have been given. We love because we are first loved by God.
On Unfiltered Radio we are investigating who Jesus claimed to be and how He taught us to interact with one another. The simple answer on how to live like Jesus is to love. Giving selflessly is an outpouring of love.
5. Where and how can you give?
If you are looking for ideas of simple acts of kindness, do a quick search across social media with #givingtuesday and #givingtuesdaymilitary. The Tuesday following Thanksgiving, there was a national movement to spread a million acts of kindness. Military spouses from all over joined in. Perhaps their posts will get you thinking about simple ways to give from your heart.
Look around you. What are the needs you see? How can you bring a smile to someone’s face today? It could be as simple as holding the door for someone or as life-altering as opening your home and providing shelter. It’s not always about throwing money at a cause. Sometimes, it’s nothing more than offering your ear to listen.
Remember though, if you are going to hashtag your kindness do it in a way that brings honor to the receiver and not shame. The act of giving has immediate and natural benefits to both the giver and receiver. It should never be done to gain clicks or follows.
If you are wondering what it means to authentically follow Jesus, join us on Unfiltered Radio as we investigate who He claimed to be and how He taught us to interact with one another.