Giving Smarter…How are you giving?

Today’s discussion loosely composed of the following…

 The Thang:

Psalm 41:1 ESV

  • “Blessed is the one who considers the poor! In the day of trouble the Lord delivers him”

Christmas is the “Giving Season.”  It’s no secret that I am a big proponent of nonprofit work, specifically local charity organizations.  There is something about the concept of helping those in need that the appeals to the dirty “liberal” hippy in me (you know, the whole “redistribution of wealth” thing.)

I’ve been contemplating the concept of giving to those less fortunate. The Word says:

James 2:14-17 ESV

  • “What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.”

It’s not enough to just have Faith in the Lord.  You must talk the talk AND walk the walk.

2 Corinthians 9:7 ESV

  • “Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.”

I PRIDE myself on how much I am willing to help a man in need. It makes me feel good and thus makes me a cheerful giver.   Perhaps this is a problem.  I do this type of work to make MYSELF feel good, not to truly help my fellow man.

I’ve recently read the book Toxic Charity, by Robert Lupton, where this concept is explored in greater detail.  The essential theme of the book is that the people “we serve,” are not to be viewed as “the people we serve.”  Rather they are collaborators, leaders in their own communities. “They” have to be the solution. We are just helping in some way to help them be/become their own solution…

How am I giving?

  • What am I doing to really help these people?
  • What have I done to help end the cycle of poverty/abuse?

Luke 6:38 ESV

  • “Give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.”

Too often we give in the easiest way possible.  Acts like contributing to Food Pantry, Angel Tree, and the like are worthy (and needed) but are you really giving in Good Measure?

Each of us have skills, developed over time, which can benefit those less fortunate. Consider the following:

  • Helping someone write/update their resume, or set up a LinkedIn account
  • Offering to connect with someone in your HR department to give them the inside track on a job
  • Coaching them on getting to the next level
  • Helping them develop a budget or save for retirement
  • Helping them complete a scholarship/grant application for Adult Learning classes

Helping someone in this way requires building a personal relationship and is a significant investment of time.  It’s also not a handout (which can be demeaning.)  Rather, you are offering them the opportunity to pull themselves out of their predicament as well as provide tools to prevent it in the future.

How am I giving?

  • Is this one time act of charity giving the needy a hand up from their situation or, rather, is it a hand out giving them the excuse they need to continue on with their plight?
  • Am I taking the time to build personal relationships with those that need my help?

Proverbs 19:17 ESV

  • Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will repay him for his deed.

 Challenges:

  1. Find someone less fortunate than you and try to “bring them up a level”
  2. As leaders in the community, it is our responsibility to question whether the charities in our spheres of influence are helping the solve the long term issues of those in need rather than providing a short term solution
 Moleskin:
  1. Nice discussion today on a topic that I’ve been struggling with: “How can we make a bigger impact in the local community?” A great idea about working with our local AA/NA groups and getting them to come out to F3 events.  BBQ brought up how the F3 Metro guys workout with the homeless.
  2. Prayers needed for a friend whose wife is pregnant.
  3. Happy Hour at 3 Monkeys 6:00 PM this Wednesday. YHC has the Q.
  4. We are starting up a Team for the BB&T Corporate Cup Half Marathon. Already HC’d : BBQ, SS Minnow, Solo Cup, Banjo Boy and Diesel. $10 off when you use this code: CORPCUP10. Good until 12/17. Register now at: http://www.ymcacharlotte.org/branches/childressklein/socialresp/events/corpcup/registration.aspx

Peace,

Solo Cup

5 thoughts on “Giving Smarter…How are you giving?

  1. SoloCup Post author

    Thank you for the opportunity to speak this morning. I really enjoy the fellowship this time provides.

  2. BBQ

    Was a great discussion! Awesome ideas @SoloCup had. F3 Harrisburg could do huge things for our local Harrisburg community. Definitely more to come, excited to see what He has planned.

  3. BanjoBoy

    Great discussion today. Thanks for leading @solocup. Great concepts and ideas were tossed around. Now we need to organize and then act on these ideas. It is fun to talk about what to do, now lets do something.

  4. SSMinnow

    @Solo Cup…this Endurance session was a workout of a different kind…as challenging as any boot camp workout. It wasn’t comfortable, talking about ways of going beyond our ‘feel good’ giving, to help share some of our talents in ways that can make a difference in the lives of those in need. I know the men of F3 Harrisburg are up to this challenge…Proverbs 27:17

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