I don’t believe in “giving” to charity every time you get a chance or every time you’re ‘handed an envelope.’ There is so much need in the world that there will always be opportunities to give, left and right. You have to give when God leads you, and to the cause that He puts in your heart. Heeding God’s voice is always primary.
Having said that, neither can I deny the fact that God’s compassion made alive in our hearts would oftentimes compel us to want to give, even if we have no more money left, even if at times that particular opportunity is not God’s ‘opportunity’ for us. And when the compassion is greater, there would often be also a greater willingness to sacrifice. I don’t think it is wise to give money that has not yet been earned unless the Holy Spirit enabled you to make such a step of faith.
Call it risky, foolish or faith-filled, I must admit that sacrificial giving moves me to tears. Last Friday and Saturday, I witnessed not-exactly-high-earning members of the workforce give (to indigenous kids with leukemia of L.I.F.E.), not out of abundance, but out of compassion. I am so thankful to all who gave, but these few, I believe, are worth some special mention.:
Our office messenger who gave P13 from his pocket. (approx. 30 cents)
Our office guard who gave a 20-peso bill (approx. 50 cents) tightly folded around 2 five-peso-coins. (This reminds me of times when I don’t have enough money to give so I give some coins no matter how embarrassing it may seem.)
My young friend who gave out of unearned salary. (Utang muna, babayaran sa katapusan. lol.)
But then this does not mean that the others had not sacrificed in some other way for some other worthwhile cause. And it does not mean that God loves those who sacrificed, more than those who did not. Truth is, I believe that giving is something that grows in us. And that compassion, is particularly strong in those who have it as a gift from God. Although it is also a virtue that grows as we receive a deeper revelation of Jesus’ compassion.
Overall, we were able to raise more money than what we expected to raise, exceeding the target that was set. The beneficiaries enjoyed the party (for the indigenous kids with leukemia at the hospital venue) and the party organizers were found in tears early on in the party because they were so moved by what God’s doing.
I guess one moral of the story is that when we give to the less fortunate, we actually receive greater blessing than those people we are ‘trying’ to bless. We see the deeper textures of God’s compassion, coming alive in us, and in others. Then we discover that when given just the right chance, men are able to step out in Christlikeness, which is, such a wonderful sight to behold. 🙂
P.S. One of them who sowed, after texting me her pledged, received a message informing her that she will receive a love gift from her friend. And it’s much bigger than the amount she pledged. Praise the Lord!