It is my very strong opinion that in this life we've been given, it is our responsibility to give what we can to those who need it. It's also my opinion that if we don't, we're setting ourselves and our lives up for failure! Being HER day, I thought giving was a perfect topic since women really capture the essence of what giving means. BUT, men, don't think this message couldn't be useful to you too;) I grew up in a household where, on any given night, my dad could come home from a business trip with a 'traveler' or somebody 'just a little down on their luck'...I never knew that most people called them 'homeless' until I was older. Boy I tell ya, what a warm meal, a hot shower, a soft place to sleep and maybe a little cash in their pocket does for a person living so harshly.....does more for the person giving, I promise! My mom has given her clothes right out of her closet (and her taste is impeccable) to somebody who needed them more at least a hundred times that I've seen. Times like these and all the other million examples I could give of my parents giving spirit, left an unshakable impression on me. Like a badge that I can't remove, but I'm so proud to wear.
Your first argument might be something like "what if they mis-use the money?" or "what if they don't appreciate what I do?" It doesn't matter. Simple as that. We will be judged by the way we live OUR lives, by the way WE give. It's not our job (even though it's so easy to do) to judge ANYONE, ever. Furthermore, the Bible tells us to go amongst ALL the people even your enemy and show them how to live. If we say "I don't want to help them because I don't think they'll yada yada yada...", we're overstepping our boundaries. Our instruction is : Give. Or if we say "I don't support them because they don't believe what I believe or live the way I live", we're NOT loving thy neighbor as thyself and we're missing out on an opportunity! Is it really being a witness when we only witness to people who already believe what we do? A witness does not judge and lecture. A true witness simply leads by example.
Your second argument might be "I don't have enough money to share" Ok. You won't catch ANY flack from me about this. In today's economy, that's completely understandable. Sometimes we just cannot squeeze extra money out of our budgets! Money is SO FAR from the only way to give, we have unlimited options!! The picture above is at my house right before I used one of my skills, massage therapy, to help somebody who needed it. That's right, we can use all of our skills to give to some one in need and not spend a penny! Remember too, that those in need of financial help aren't the only ones we should give to. Somebody close to me had a pretty terrible week and was heading into a doozy of another week, so I thought 'how can I help?'...a massage! If you have a friend who could use a few hours away from the kids, you could offer to watch them. If you know an elderly person who could use a friend to talk to once in a while, that friend could be you! If you are able to help somebody do lawn care, plumbing, beauty services, grocery shopping....you could even do taxes, sing at a nursing home, work at a food bank, become a Big Sister/Brother...etc! Say a kind word to somebody who looks down, be a shoulder to cry on. What are your special skills, what are all of your skills and how can you put them to better use? I know some of the coolest people I've met have been those fellas who smelled and looked scary when they came to our house and left clean, rested and with an extra spark in their eye. I know everyone can't do that and it seems pretty dangerous to bring some one into your home, but my dad always said he knew the Good Lord would take care of him. My dad was born in a pup tent, was raised by two wise and happy believers in a life of what most would call poverty, has overcome unspeakable obstacles, literally came back to life after being pronounced dead, started a rope company in his barn and with my mother has turned it into a global success that is growing faster than their heads can spin......why? He would say it's all thanks to Him. The point is, in the long run, you'll reap what you sow. Give and ye shall receive! Teach your children this, it's a dying belief in this 'every one's out for himself ' kind of world.
*a cool link I got from a friend http://myturnday.com/home/ *