My company is encouraging us to participate in Giving Tuesday. How can I give more if I’m on a limited budget?
Dear Cheerful Giver,
It is nice to answer a question about giving, especially today, when so many have begun the shopping and spending frenzy that has come to be referred to as Black Friday — the day retailers traditionally become profitable.
Cyber Monday comes next, which is the day online retailers typically offer deals and discounts to launch the holiday season. In 2012, a grassroots movement to promote more generous giving was launched, called Giving Tuesday, that seeks to counterbalance the heavy emphasis on spending during the holidays.
While I appreciate the efforts made to promote generosity on Giving Tuesday, God’s Word has instructed us to be prepared to be generous on all occasions and to do so cheerfully.
Larry Burkett, the founder of Crown, sincerely believed that giving was how God allows us to share in His work. I grew up knowing that God loves a cheerful giver from 2 Corinthians 9:7, but I did not experience the joy until I developed the habit. Once I acknowledged the Lordship of Christ and followed Him out of love and gratitude, I discovered that my desire to give has increased. Paul told Timothy that giving is an act of storing up treasure for the future that awaits us (1 Timothy 6:18-19).
While it can be a good witness to participate in your company’s efforts on Giving Tuesday, it is important to know where the giving will be directed. For Christians, not all generosity is equal. We should commit our acts of generosity to those efforts, causes and missions which are consistent with God’s Word.
Giving on a budget
Giving is a matter of the heart. It does not require a lot of money. Simply ask God for opportunities and be attentive. In fact, the size of the gift is not as important as the motive and the size of the sacrifice. Our Lord commended the widow for giving her two mites. She trusted God with all that she had (Luke 21:1-4). The Macedonians gave out of their “extreme poverty” for the joy of advancing the spread of the Gospel.
Also, generosity can come in many forms. When a friend’s husband died after years of being bedridden, several neighborhood women gathered to help her clean and clear out her home. It was a sacrificial gift that blessed the widow and all who worked. They saw an opportunity, had the availability, and chose to act. They seized the moment. You can, too. Consider these ideas:
- Write a note
- Make and give a playlist
- Help someone get a job
- Volunteer your time
- Enjoy giving anonymously
- Give during charity matching programs
- Start small with automatic withdrawals
- Designate a non-profit on Amazon Smile
- Share social posts for causes you believe in
- Always be prepared to share the Gospel
Giving is worship
“Honor the Lord with your wealth and with the firstfruits of all your produce; then your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will be bursting with wine” (Proverbs 3:9-10).
Author Randy Alcorn says, “Gaze upon Christ long enough, and you’ll become more of a giver. Give long enough, and you’ll become more like Christ.” I love that perspective. We are to give what we can without worrying about how much others give. Sometimes, He trusts us with more to test our hearts. It has been said that God often provides an increase in our income so we can increase our standard of giving, not our standard of living.
Giving is transformational
“As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy. They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, thus storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is truly life” (1 Timothy 6:17-19).
Over the years, I have heard many inspiring testimonies from cheerful givers. I think about the unexpected check, the money found in a drawer, a bonus or a raise that helped a giver in his/her time of need. How about appliances or vehicles that keep running without need of repairs or replacement? God can do anything, but we miss the blessing if we fail to acknowledge His hand in it all! Givers often see Him do more than we can dream or imagine, even on a limited budget!
Giving is a test
“Bring the full tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. And thereby put me to the test, says the Lord of hosts, if I will not open the windows of Heaven for you and pour down for you a blessing until there is no more need” (Malachi 3:10).
Grow as the Lord’s giver
Regardless of your decision to participate with your company on Giving Tuesday, I hope you are inspired to be a year-round giver. Crown has many great resources to help you experience true freedom that enables you to grow as a cheerful giver. Also, the National Christian Foundation is a community of givers that annually recommends grants at twice the rate of other major donor-advised fund providers. Their library of books, podcasts, videos, articles and studies are inspiring and motivating.
Chuck Bentley is CEO of Crown Financial Ministries, a global Christian ministry, founded by the late Larry Burkett. He is the host of a daily radio broadcast, My MoneyLife, featured on more than 1,000 Christian Music and Talk stations in the U.S., and author of his most recent book, Seven Gray Swans: Trends that Threaten Our Financial Future. Be sure to follow Crown on Facebook.