Sometimes it seems as though hands are reaching out to you from every direction in hopes of cold hard cash being passed their way. Mail, Facebook, emails, phone calls, schools, those cute little girl scouts, and even the guy on the corner with a cardboard sign.
Everyone has a passion and they want you to make their passion yours.
So how do you know when to give and when not to give?
Do you feel guilty saying no? It’s time to shed the guilt because, sometimes, you just got no business giving! Let me tell you why.
Reasons Not To Give
1. If you have to borrow money to give, think twice.
Borrowing money through credit cards, cash advance, or friends is not the answer. You will end up paying extra fees or, worse, losing a friend. You will feel so much better doing less, with cash!
2. If you have to steal in order to give, you have no business giving.
So, you’re at a friend or relative’s home and see a little something they would never miss. You know Suzy Q would love that little something and want to give it to her.
Stealing from a friend to give is not where it’s at. You’re doing nothing but causing trouble for yourself. Just say no!
AND don’t follow the UPS truck to steal packages off porches! Are you kidding me?
3. If the charity you give to has a CEO that lives lavishly, don’t give.
Check out the charities you love. Find out what percentage is actually used for the mission and what percentage is used for fundraising and administrative costs. You just might be shocked!
4. If you are one step away from losing your home, it’s probably not the best time to give.
I once knew a man who gave and gave and gave until he had nothing left and became homeless. He loved to give and was loved by many. The thing is, those recipients disappeared pretty quick when he had nothing left to give.
5. If giving is a hardship, it may not be the right time to give.
If you’ve given so much that your child’s name is on a giving tree and you can’t put food on the table, it might be time to narrow your giving opportunities.
I don’t believe God would want us to be in this position.
6. Feeling guilty is no reason to give.
You can purchase a wheelchair for a real child for the same amount you can purchase a wheelchair for your child’s doll. We’ve all heard it, right? Oh my goodness. The Guilt!
Guilt is not a place for giving. Make sure you are passionate about your giving choices.
7. If you’re giving to make yourself look good, it’s time to rethink.
Giving has never been about making yourself look good. It is all about doing for others!
8. If you’re giving to prove yourself, this is not the time to give.
You have nothing to prove. You are enough, right now! In order to find true happiness, you must stop looking at others for validation.
9. If you’re giving begrudgingly, don’t give.
God loves a cheerful giver! If you can’t give with a smile on your face, you might be giving in the wrong place.
10. If you’re giving to feel good but aren’t actually helping, re-evaluate.
It may feel good to give non-perishables to the food bank but if everything you’re donating is expired, you are costing the food bank time, money, and frustration. Figure out the most effective way to give. The way that is most helpful and stretches your dollar the furthest.
Could it be that donating $10 to the local food bank would be more effective than $10 worth of groceries? Perhaps the food bank knows exactly what is needed and can get the best possible price.
It may feel awesome to take your bag of groceries to the food bank. Do you want to feel awesome or do you want to be effective?
Do you have a reason NOT to give?
We may not always have money to give but we do have something. If you are unable to give financially, just say no, and don’t feel guilty. There are many ways to give that will not directly affect your pocketbook. Many gifts with the greatest impact are not monetary gifts.
8 Non-Financial Ways TO Give
1. Every person needs to feel Loved, Wanted, Needed, Admired, and Appreciated.
Can you appreciate someone today?
Many organizations accept volunteer help. In what way can you volunteer?
3. The Buy Nothing Project is an opportunity to give to your neighbors.
Do you have something you no longer use that a neighbor may find useful? This isn’t about the ‘haves’ and the ‘have nots’, it’s about neighbors coming together and giving of their bounty!
4. Give a Smile!
The smile is greatly underestimated.
How easy is it to smile at the person behind you at the check out line?
How many times have we walked by a homeless person, trying not to make eye contact? I know I’m guilty. Acknowledge those you come across.
A smile is free and may just make someone’s day!
It sounds so cliche’ but we can all give a prayer!
One dark, rainy morning we drove by a homeless man sitting on a bench in the closed up little town. I wondered what his story was. I wondered if he knew how to find help. I felt powerless … until, I remembered to pray. I prayed he would be warm despite the weather, I prayed he would find rest, friendship, and a place to belong. Be specific in your prayers, God hears you!
Take time to listen. REALLY listen. Most of us are thinking about our schedules, checking our phones, and rushing from one thing to the next. What a beautiful gift it is to just listen.
7. Share your talents!
Are you great at finding deals? Share where the deals are and help someone else!
Do you play an instrument? Teach someone to play!
Are you a computer whiz? Do you know how to draw? Are you a photographer? Interior decorator? Painter?
What talent can you share?
8. Social Media
Did your ears perk up? Social Media could probably be considered a talent too. You may not have cash to give to a cause you see on Facebook but you can certainly share the cause! Perhaps someone who CAN contribute will see your post!
It’s time to shed the guilt and give where your passion and talents collide. It is at this intersection that we can give with PASSION and JOY in our hearts. This is the sweet spot where we become CHEERFUL and EFFECTIVE givers!
Ssssshhhhh! Don’t tell! Remember … giving is your little secret with God!