Level 7 of Giving is giving cheerfully, but not giving enough. This level can be a hard one to interpret because who can determine what “enough” is for any individual. Most likely, the best judge of what is enough in each personal circumstance is the person who is making the donation. We have all heard sayings such as “give until it hurts,” or “give a % of your income,” but in the end each individual needs to determine what amount of giving truly represents a sacrificial gift. Giving pennies when a person is capable of giving dollars, or giving dollars when hundreds are easy to come by, is the yardstick by which only the giver can judge.
Examples could include a person who readily uses the services of an organization but only supports the organization minimally in order to stay on the roster or member’s list. This could be a church, school, club, community center, etc. When this happens, the person is not really donating anything, but essentially paying for services already received. Also, committee members could also assume that they are giving their gift through the donation of their services rather than a financial donation, yet others look to these members to follow what they do and not strictly what they say. Indeed it is a fine line of distinction.
Ultimately, it is up to each individual to examine their actions and determine if what they have given qualifies as a worthy gift. Whether it is volunteer time, services, or financial backing, only the giver can qualify and quantify the degree of the gift.
In educating people, it is a good idea to ask current or potential donors to reflect on their past donations and consider if they truly represented the means at which they could fully participate. If the church needs a new pulpit, and you donate a hymnal does that qualify as a truly generous gift if you have the means to do more? I think not. So maybe a scale from one to ten for giving might help us guesstimate our true ability. One being the lowest and ten being the highest, where do we feel comfortable and stretched on a campaign? We always need to go beyond our comfort level in order to exceed our grasp. In the words of poet Lord Byron, “Our reach should exceed our grasp, or what’s a heaven for?”
A good mission is to create a heaven on earth for those incapable of even making ends meet in today’s world. Be a cheerful giver, and you will know when you have given in alignment with your potential.
Be Your Very Best Always,
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Thoughts On Giving is a weekly “newsletter” that is intended help all of us to become more educated as to how giving works to strengthen our ties with our own growth and development as physical and spiritual beings.