Weekly Thought – May 16, 2017
Fred was allergic to fluff. He didn’t appreciate those who tried to bamboozle him with lofty, spiritualized financial appeals. And, he didn’t want to be anyone’s “center of influence.” His gift of discernment gave him an objectivity which enabled him to give with insight and wisdom.
Giving to BWFLI is a way you can participate in the “stretching and blessing of the next generation of leaders… to the glory of God.” We ask for your help as we continue our campus work.
Intentions of the Heart and Purse
Not everyone gives for the same reason. Over the years I have known men and women who give high dollar gifts… and those who give the $5.00 donations. Billy Graham once said their ministry operated on the $5 gifts from men and women who stood with them in prayer.
Here are a few (certainly not an exhaustive list, but one that will get you thinking) I have noticed:
1) Tax deduction. “I prefer to give to the church rather than to the government.” Our tax laws currently favor charitable giving, but this may not always be the case. Giving as a tax strategy is usually more mental and emotional.
2) Peer pressure. A well-known CEO had the reputation of being a major fundraiser. In actuality, his gift were relatively small, but he had the ability to “suggest” to those who worked for him and did business with him that certain charitable organizations would be helped by their money. Often I get letters from non-profits listing their donors in descending monetary order. Some consultant told them most people like to do “what other people like them” do.
3) Emergency response. Another strategy is sending out SOS letters to donors under the banner of “we need your help NOW!” There are those who quickly respond to such pleas and feel they are jumping in to hold up the organization at a critical time. The problem with this is the sense we get when we see retail stores holding “going out of business “sales for years on end. Non-profits which hope to spur giving with SOS alerts risk creating doubt.
4) Legacy. Some foundations give when the understanding their name will be attached prominently to the gift. A fundraiser friend of mine always looks at “naming opportunities” when he first enters a facility. There is nothing wrong with giving to an organization and receiving public recognition. But one must be careful about the possibility of manipulation.
5) Obedience. If done out of respect and love, this is an excellent motive. If it is fear driven, then it is weak. A new Christian with great wealth was told by others he would be punished by God and stripped of his assets if he didn’t give super generously to the church. Obedient giving is not to obligate God but to obey Him.
6) Gratitude and love. Christian gratitude should start at Calvary and show itself in our consistent love. True love is extravagant, spontaneous, and natural.
7) God’s glory. When we give for His glory, we must be careful not to try to share the glory because God says He will not share with anyone. To give for His glory drives others to see Him for who He is.
This week think about: 1) What do I think about when I give? 2) How extravagant am I in my love for God? 3) What gives me the greatest joy in giving?
Words of Wisdom: “Obedient giving is not to obligate God, but to obey Him.”
Wisdom from the Word: “Each one of you should give just as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, because God loves a cheerful giver.” (2 Corinthians 9:7 NET Bible)