Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Giving Generously III

Why is giving such a difficult and sometimes uncomfortable topic? I have already shared part of this discussion in yesterday's post (see Giving Generously II). To be clear, I am certainty not perfect when it comes to giving. I could likely do more than I have, but at the same time, I do make an effort. Does the money that I give to church and charity cause me to have to tighten my belt, to go without, to sacrifice any part of my way of life? No, not in any way. Does that mean that I am not being generous with my money? Honestly, I am not sure, but I do know that I don't feel guilty about not doing more. One thing is for certain when it comes to my giving, namely, it is my business what I give. When I give I do not do it for the approval of others.

I was thinking about the notion of generous giving when I stumbled upon the following bit in the book Alvin Journeyman by Orson Scott Card:

He could afford to be generous, since he didn't have to pay for it himself. Most virtues were like that. People could take pride in how virtuous they were, but the fact was that as soon as virtue got expensive or inconvenient, it was amazing how fast it gave way to practical concerns.

In that sense, I have indeed learned that what I do give is a priority to me. If I were to suffer a financial set back of some sort, my giving would not be the first thing that I cut back on. That is something that I have come face to face with on occasion when times have gotten tight. Plus I have learned to be sensitive to urgings from the Holy Spirit when I believe I am being called upon
to increase my giving. Through it all, I let the words of 2 Corinthians 9:7 be my guide:

Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.

That is the spirit behind giving generously.

(Part 3 of 3)