In the fall of 2021, I posted a blog with the title “Be a Giver.” As I pondered a blog for this week, this blog came to mind. I believe God is telling me to refresh it and repost it. We are entering the time of year when giving seems paramount, and not always in a good way. For some of us it’s a time of pressure, of living up to the expectations of others, and giving with a begrudging attitude. Yesterday was Giving Tuesday and it felt like everyone was reminding us.
Giving is one of the clearest concepts in the Bible. God’s Word goes so far as to tell us to give cheerfully because the Lord loves a cheerful giver. So, our attitude is important.
As Christians, one of our assignments is to help others. This helping falls into three general areas: finances, time, and talent and gifts. Sometimes all three are involved at once.
I think we’ve all heard of giving tithes and offerings to our church. This is the first place to start. Some of us also give to other organizations like the Red Cross or Habitat to Humanity.
Have you ever given money to an individual? When Covid struck me down, my men’s group took up a substantial financial gift for us. There have been times when the Lord has nudged and encouraged my wife and I to give money to individuals. We try to follow as he leads. The amount varies but the impetus is clearly from the Lord.
And sometimes we miss the Lord. One time my wife and I went to Home Depot. We pulled into the parking lot. A couple with two or three small children were sitting on one of the little islands that dot the parking area. A small tree provided the only shade. They held a cardboard sign requesting help. I don’t recall the exact wording. We went into the store and as we shopped, my wife told me she felt the Lord telling her to give the family some money.
We finished our shopping. When we left, the family was gone. We missed our opportunity to obey God and bless someone. We prayed someone else blessed them. We’ll never know this side of heaven, but missing that opportunity stirred in us a stronger desire to follow God’s promptings more quickly with his discernment guiding us as to the person and the amount.
Whenever we volunteer to serve, whether at church or a community organization, we make a gift of our time and our talents and skills. The value of time is once you give, you can’t get it back. We all have an allotted amount of time in this life. How we use it is up to us. We can bless others, we can waste it, or we can use it for selfish purposes. We can increase our finances and develop our talents, but we can’t get more time.
The other aspect of giving our time is we are simply in that place of service to others. It might be to sit with a grieving family. It might be cleaning the bathrooms at church or the house of an elderly person. Our church has a group called the Men’s Brigade. These guys go out on a weekend to do repairs and such for the widows and single moms.
It might be volunteering in a church or school program so single moms can have a break for a few hours. I shared in an earlier post how our neighbors gave of their time to help us when we were down with Covid.
Giving our time to be available to others in whatever way blesses them and it blesses us as well as we are rewarded for our efforts even if no one else notices.
Talents is the third area. I’ve shared before how the Lord leads me to help other writers with the gifts he’s given me. The Lord gifted my wife to be a nurse motivated by empathy and caring for those who are hurting.
He’s also placed in us a desire to help others manage their finances. We’ve learned a lot the hard way and he led us to share what we’ve learned through our church by coaching individuals and families is such things as making a budget, devising a plan to get out of debt, and developing confidence in their ability to handle money wisely.
People are hurting and struggling. God wants us to help them. He won’t force us against our will. He does provide the time, the finances, and the talents to do whatever he calls us to do as givers.
What are some of the things you’re doing to give to others?