My Dad was a giver. And he never wanted his giving to be known or recognized. His hard work allowed him to go from days of struggling financially and acting on faith even when he didn’t know how to make things work to being financially comfortable as time went on. But the more he got, the more he gave.
As a child, I thought that my Dad was uptight about money. We make the joke now about how he would say that you should know what you want from the fridge before you open the door because you’re wasting energy with it open while you look. I’ve been in rooms where he would turn the lights off while walking by because he thought they were left on. Or stepping out of the bathroom and being told that you should have turned the shower water off in between rinses. True story.
A bit extreme sometimes, yes, but after looking at my last electric bill for the 3 in my family, I can only imagine what it was like for a family double that size-especially the year all four of us kids were enrolled in a private Christian school.
Giving Makes an Impact
Dad passed away in 2018, and in reflecting on his life, I see that while I didn’t always understand his approach, his way was coming from a heavenly perspective. He was a firm believer in budgets, ensuring he could pay for the needs of his family, but also so that he could freely give without questioning how.
And one thing that was very dear to him was a special fund at church. It’s one that most churches have, while it may go by different names. For some it’s a “Deacons Fund,” others call it a “Benevolence Fund,” and so on. It’s a special account that leaders in the church can use to help people both within and outside the church going through a hard time (do you know how many people call churches every day looking for help?).
How can we be called the hands and feet of Jesus if we are turning away those in need? The single parent who needs help paying for food or childcare, the family who got laid off and needs help to keep their electricity on, the homeless person looking for shelter or food, or even an unexpected hospital bill that seems impossible to pay. Those are just some of the many real-life examples when the church blesses others. And this happens every day all over the nation without any media attention.
Look for Opportunities to Give
My Dad spent a lot of time as a leader within his local Church, which meant he privately heard and saw a lot of these situations. He saw opportunities to be a blessing to others and not only helped distribute the funds from that special account, but he and my Mom also contributed to it, and then often gave extra anonymously on the side. That’s part of his legacy.
Think of what Paul told the Ephesian church the last time he saw them. He summed up his ministry there and the direction God was leading Him in next, knowing that it wasn’t going to be easy. But he reminded them how obeying God is always worth even the difficult times. This was his motivation, mentioned in Acts 20:35:
In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.”
What about you?
- Have you been holding back what you have?
- Have you been thinking that money is too tight so you don’t have enough to give?
- Do you give out of guilt or a desire to be a blessing?
- Do you calculate the bare minimum of what you think you should give?
Challenge to Give
Give generously, without questions, and without expecting anything in return. Give to your local church. Ask them if they have a benevolence fund and give to it. Give to the homeless person you see on the street without assuming that they will “just use it for booze or drugs.” Give even when you think you don’t have enough–God’s math always multiplies.