This time of year our attention turns to giving more than at any other time. The opportunities to give are everywhere — at store entrances, in emails, in advertisements bidding us to give to particular organizations … the list goes on.
There are so many people and organizations in need, it can be overwhelming. How do you know where to give and when to give? And how much?
There are many agencies working in the towns and communities of East Tennessee to help those in need. Some feed, clothe and provide shelter, while others seek to give individuals a “hand up” to help them get out of the cycle of poverty. All of them depend on donations to help continue their work.
One way to gain insight into the questions about giving is to see what the Bible has to say about it. There are many scriptures about giving and how to give.
A quick internet search turns up several sites that address giving and provide verses for reference: Luke 6:38, Proverbs 3: 9-10, Deuteronomy 16:17, Psalm 37:21 are a few of the many scriptures on giving.
Tips to Organize A Plan
Once you decide to give – here are some tips to help organize your efforts:
- decide beforehand the amount to give, based on your ability to give
- organize a list of agencies/people that you want to help;
- is there someone in your own family who could use some extra money to help with bills, etc? Consider adding them to your list;
- when you give, you’re being Jesus to the world around you (no matter how much your gift is – don’t worry if you’re giving as much as someone else);
- remember — while you can’t solve every problem by yourself, you can be part of the bigger effort to help.
One way to prepare for the giving season is to plan ahead. At the beginning of the year, start a “giving fund”. Each month or week, add to your fund whatever you can afford to put back. Then, when needs arise, you will be able to draw out of your fund. At the end of the year, you will have money to use specifically for giving. Win – win!
Organizations work throughout the year to help people, not just at Christmas. Consider spreading your gifts out over the year.
The first thing is to determine that you want to give — then ask God for guidance as you share from the abundance you’ve been given.