During July the COMPASS blog is sharing reflections on giving in the spirit of “Christmas in July.” Many of the most frequent posts have been more practical in nature about finances and choices. This post is a bit different, and is a reflection about some of the reasons why I give.
I began working with the Ecumenical Stewardship Center as Communications Associate a year ago. In my first post here on the COMPASS blog I reflected on “Why Do I Give?” Given this month’s theme, I thought it would be a good time to revisit that post and see what (if anything) has changed in explaining why I give.
1. I give because of the Good News.
My giving is part of my response. Deep down my giving to the church and ministry is part of my joyful response to what I believe is the good news of the Gospel. My giving to causes, relief organizations, and other agencies is also part of this response. I deeply believe that I cannot earn salvation, but rather that is God’s work and has already been done for us. All I can do with that good news of love and grace is to live joyfully in response to it: sharing that good news with others, living life fully and abundantly, and giving thanks.
2. I give because there is a need.
My giving is also usually initiated by being moved to act in response to a need in the world. When I see someone hurting or not being cared for, I wonder, “What can I do to help?” If my wife and I can give a financial contribution, that is wonderful. If our budget is constrained, we can still give through volunteering and helping in other ways. (In a practical sense, this is where the idea of “Time, Talent, and Treasure” is made real through giving.)
3. I give because I want to.
There is no greater joy in life than the feeling of helping another person, or bringing a smile to someone’s face.
4. I give because it’s part of God’s work.
I believe that the way I serve and give are part of God’s work in the world and that we all are called to share in this work. Our vocations and God-given gifts, strengths, and passions aren’t meant to be hoarded, but are to be used in service to our neighbor to build up the Kingdom of God.
5. I give because I grew up in a family of givers.
I give because I grew up in a family of givers. My parents talked about money, not as a way to intimidate us or make us worry, but because they knew that sharing their understanding about money, finances, and stewardship would make those subjects more comfortable for us when we were older. As part of this, I grew up receiving an allowance and started a savings account at a very young age. The only stipulation my parents gave us with that allowance was that we would give a portion of it to God– through offering at church or to non-profits. Over time, I learned and came to believe that this giving to God was a returning of some of what God had actually entrusted to my care. I credit my desire to give especially to my parents.
Those are five reasons why I give. Now it is your turn. As we continue to celebrate “Christmas in July,” why do you give?
This blog is a component of the Ecumenical Stewardship Center’s COMPASS initiative to engage young adults in conversations about faith and finances. Like what you see and want to know/do more? Visit the COMPASS web page and join the COMPASS community on Facebook.