Practical Giving - P6
Congratulations on understanding the tremendous value that a life of giving brings to you. Living longer, enjoying the truth that your life impacts those around you as well as all the people who are recipients of your gifts, greater fulfillment, expanded horizons, knowledge of the world and the needs of others and that good feeling deep down in your soul - all of it the benefit of giving of yourself and of your resources. LOVE IT!
Now with such a good thing you will likely want to make sure it is something that you continue doing. But let’s face the facts. Living in this world has a tendency to change things on us. Maybe it is losing a job, an accident that costs in auto repair, medical bills or even an unforeseen bill from the Tax Man. Whatever it might be, life is sure to throw some curveballs at us from time to time. In these times of change it is important to keep that valuable asset of giving in your life. But how does one budget for giving? Is there a set amount to give? Is there a way to ensure that the benefit of giving is never lost even in times of change.
So there are certainly ways to budget giving into your life. Remember that giving your Mite involves more than just dollars and cents. You give of your time, your belongings and yes of your take home pay. Giving is flexible and the bottomline - the KEY - is to Give from the heart. Giving willingly and freely is what is most important.
Some people do set certain amounts as obligations in giving. Christian churches often set an amount of 10% of income. This is called a tithe and is based on Abraham’s gift to Melchizedek documented in the book of Genesis (Gen 14:17-20) . The Muslim faith uses the term - zakat - which is customarily stated as 2.5% of total savings and wealth above a minimum amount called a nisab. Other religions may or may not have set amounts assigned for giving. We at eMite consider the Mite, based on the original Mite given by a poor widow (Mark 12:41-44). That original Mite was only worth a penny but it was all the widow could give, and she gave it freely, out of her poverty. This is obviously not a set amount but it certainly meets the important aspect of being freely given.
Now back to that budget idea. Regardless of whether it is a set amount or not, if you want to keep giving as a part of your life, we do suggest making it a normal part of your budget each month. Give, freely, every month. If you use an official budget document, put your giving under a Charity account and make it an amount that you can willingly and joyfully give. If you do not use a budget document we suggest setting a reminder to give each month or set up automated giving to your favorite charities. Don’t worry about amounts, obligations or any of the rest of the religious stuff. Just Give. Do it freely and have fun with it. Enjoy your giving and see if it doesn’t give back to you more than you are ever able to give!