To give or not to give…
To give or not to give, that is the question. You may be struggling with the mass of year end giving requests. The holiday season can be overwhelming for both givers and non-givers alike. It is especially hard for non-givers who do not have a charitable or philanthropic plan. With a charitable giving plan you are able to manage your resources throughout the course of the year free of apprehension or end of the year guilt.
What should you give? According to Proverbs 3:9-10, you should Honor the Lord with your wealth, with the firstfruits of all your crops; then your barns will be filled to overflowing, and your vats will brim over with new wine. You should give first and then pay for everything else next. A charitable or philanthropic strategy can help you with this style of giving.
Who should receive your charitable gifts? The Bible also gives you answer. “The king will reply, Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” – Matthew 25:40. The least of these are the people who should receive your bounty. It is likely that you encounter the least of these on a daily basis.
How much should you give? Malachi 3:10 has an answer. "Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.” As a side note, this is the only verse in the Bible where God says “test me.”
A few years ago I was on a mission trip in Nicaragua. One of our stops was to a small village outside of Managua. On the day that we were in this village we were distributing bags of food which consisted mostly of rice. While handing out food I was introduced to a man who was well into his 90’s. I had the privilege to walk him back to his “home.” His home was a short 5 minute walk down the road from the three walled church which was located in the center of this little town. This gentleman lived in an abandon storage room for coffee beans. He had a run- down bed in the corner along with wood that he would burn for heat. The walls of his home were charcoal black from the smoke from fires that he built to keep warm at night. His front door was nothing more than a few pieces of wood secured by a fragile padlock. I was humbled by where and how he lived. He clearly did not have any financial resources. The next day at the three walled church he was sitting in the front row, smiling and singing. When it came time for the offering he was the first one to stand up and put his tithe in the passing bowl and he did it with a smile on his face and peace in his heart. His tithe was only a few cents in dollar terms. The incredible nonagenarian knew the power of giving. He knew that he was blessed. He knew that his offering would bless the church and the people of his village. It was a very humbling experience to watch this gentleman give a large percentage of his net worth to the offering bowl.
So, I would encourage you to give early and often as the needs are dynamic and voluminous.
Bill Parrott is the President and CEO of Parrott Wealth Management, LLC. www.parrottwealth.com