Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Giving Generously II

When it comes to giving generously, the Bible makes it clear that this is a must (see my post from yesterday in Giving Generously I). Yet this idea of generosity is a notion that I struggle with for several reasons:
  1. Many of those in need got where they are because they are lazy and driven by addictions. Why should I, who have worked with diligence year after year, cut these folks a slice of my pie? They have reaped what they have sown.
  2. I am uncomfortable being around the needy, the elderly, and the sick. I reason that I give to my church with the expectation that they will be a source for the distribution of collections, giving to trusted organizations using some sort of cohesive plan. However, this justification leaves me feeling like I am just trying to not get my hands dirty.
  3. I take the opportunities that I am aware of to support organizations whose mission I find compelling or that I can sympathize with. For example, the Back to School supply drives for the needy or Toys for Tots. Perhaps because I have a child, I can truly support the purpose behind these efforts. But if I cannot make a connection with the cause in some personal way, it somehow becomes background noise in the world or local news.
  4. I do not think it sound to work to support life in the inhospitable portions of our planet. But this is precisely where the most desperate segments of the world population live. There is no food, no water, no natural resources, yet these populations continue to breed unchecked. Sending them food and water is not a viable solution to their problems. In fact I believe that these short-term benefits actually lead to longer-term problems.
  5. It seems that everybody has their hand out trying to get something out of you. The requests for my money at times become cloying. I can feel overwhelmed to the point where I just ignore everything. Plus when I do make a choice to give, these outfits that run them seem to sell your name to everyone and their brother. Their greed and heavy handed approaches often make me regret my initial generosity.
So, how do I live up to the calling for generosity that is given to me in Scripture? I will conclude my thoughts in part 3 of this series tomorrow.

(Part 2 of 3)