The topic of giving to charity is one of the most misunderstood by my Christian brethren. Many people would rather not talk about it because they feel it doesn’t concern them. How about you? Do you think that charity is not your thing? You don’t receive charity, and so you have no business giving to charity? So what is a charity?
Charity is the act of offering help like food, money, and other kinds of assistance, specifically to the needy.
So what comes to your mind any time the word charity is mentioned?
Do you think giving to charity is only for those charitable organizations funded by donor funds?
Or do you think it is only for the rich like your boss?
Where do you come in when it comes to giving to charity?
Who is a needy person to you?
Is it only the one who lacks food or clothing?
A needy person is anyone unable to accomplish a particular mission without sacrificing food, money, clothing, knowledge, or time; to help him out of the situation.
Come to think of this; you could also be needy!
Situations are not permanent.
I’ll give to the needy when I get a salary increment….
There is nothing I can do to help him because am also needy…
Am not able to lend a hand in my niece’s education because am still educating my children….
I just gave it to that guy and what is left is enough to sustain my family….
How many times have you used any of these statements above or heard someone use them?
I bet uncountable times.
These are some of the excuses we give whenever the topic of giving is put forward. Try to be keener on people who easily utter such sentiments. They will do it all through to their old age, yet they can help.
Helping people is another way of telling God 'thank you.'
Do not be trapped in selfishness. What you confess with your tongue shall come to be.
You do not want to have, so you shall never have. You are limiting your blessings.
Who Should Give To Charity?
I find it impossible to go into details of who should give to charity without introducing a Biblical story that best describes what giving to charity should be like. Do you remember the story of Prophet Elijah and the widow of Zarephath (1 Kings 17:7-16)? This story perfectly describes the situation most Christians find themselves in whenever they are required to give.
Despite having only a handful of flour, only enough to sustain her and her son for a short while before they starve to death, she makes a loaf for the prophet, and the glory of the Lord is what follows. From this story, we realize that poverty is no excuse for not giving.
We give because we want to, not because we have excess.
This is what my Sunday school teacher would always say to us. Giving to the less fortunate is a course for all, regardless of our financial status.
Remember even praying for others is giving!
What does that translate to?
Everyone is able to give.
So What Will A Poor Man Give?
Ours is a world of diversity. Our gifts and blessings cannot be similar. Look around you, find what you can do to help that person in need, and do it. You shall have given to charity.
That easy! Yes! Easier than that!
That pair of shoes that no longer fit you could save the heels of your neighbor.
Isn’t that charity?
Believe me; it is.
Imagine a peasant farmer in the village who relies on public means for transport, yet without any reliable source of funds!
He spares time to assist bright needy children to source better charity-funded primary schools every year to secure competitive high schools.
Meanwhile, his farms go unattended since he cannot afford to hire casual laborers.
Look at that!
The children’s parents provide for the bus fare and leave the rest to him. He ensures they are admitted and hands the rest over to the parents.
He bumped into this orphaned bright boy whose guardian could only spare his bicycle for this noble mission.
He set off with the boy at 4.00 am and got to the respective school at noon; eight good hours! The boy’s exemplary performance in the interview was worth the two-hour wait. The school administration chose to retain the boy as this elderly man rode back to the village to inform the guardians of his success.
All this on an empty stomach!
Believe it or not: he had to ride back to the school to deliver the few requirements to this young man.
Thirty-two hours riding a bicycle for someone else!
Can you do that?
That is charity beyond capability!
Here are more ways to nurture the art of giving.
Is There A Reward For Charity?
Definitely yes! As Christians, what does the Bible teach us?
And if you give yourself to the hungry and satisfy the desire of the afflicted, then your light will rise in darkness and your gloom will become like midday. (Isaiah 58:10).
Giving to charity has a promise for a reward. Our problem is that we always give with a fixed mind on which reward God should give us.
I’ll give to charity so that my son gets a job; I’ll help that orphan so that I get a promotion at work.
We, therefore, concentrate so much on what we want from God that we forget to ask what God wants for us. If only we could give wholeheartedly without expectations, then we would surely see the glory of God.
Take out that piece of bread that you are keeping for tomorrow and give it to your neighbor’s son. Don’t wait to be rich to give to charity because I bet even if you got rich, you would never have excess.
In simple terms; support life.