Today is Giving Tuesday: a day after the season’s biggest sales for us to be generous and focus on supporting people in need. There are plenty of causes that we can support this Giving Tuesday and any day of the year, and trying to decide to whom we should give to and how much we should give is difficult for many.
At some point in our lives, we’ve all been approached by someone to make a donation. Maybe by a homeless man walking down a busy street or a cashier at a supermarket asking for a donation to a charity the store is sponsoring. And with Christmas just around the corner, we’ve probably all seen Santa Claus and other merry volunteers ringing a bell next to a red tin outside of busy shopping areas.
Then there are the mailings from charities; friends and family who come to you with fundraisers; and the various ministries that your church supports. With so many worthy charities to give to, how do we choose?
In October, Ann Wiesbrock, president of Covenant Trust Company, preached on this very issue in her sermon on generosity at Grace Evangelical Covenant Church in Chicago, IL. (You can watch the entire sermon in the video above). Ann says that, while we should be moved by these good, charitable causes, Paul advises that when it comes to giving, we should take plenty of time to decide who to give to and how much to give. As he writes in 2 Corinthians 9:7, “Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” (NIV)
Decide in your heart first, then give. The decision is personal; it is yours to make. It requires thought and discernment; it requires prayer and time. And remember that no matter where you give, when you give, and how much you give, God can use and multiply your gift. So regardless of what decision you make with your charitable gifts this holiday season, trust that God will use it to bless others.