“Our science teacher told us about this charity that he is supporting that is helping to build wells to provide clean drinking water in underserved areas of the world. He suggested we consider supporting it.”
Many years ago, my daughter was beginning middle school and her science class was broadening her perspectives about the pressing needs of this world. “That is a very good charity!” I chimed in. “Clean water is probably the most important resource for any country and especially for developing nations.”
My daughter nodded. The topic did not come up for discussion until several weeks later. “Sweetheart, did you ever donate to that charity that was building wells to provide clean drinking water”?
“Oh good! How much did you donate?
“I donated all of my birthday money.”
“All of it?” My daughter nodded and with a puzzled look on her face, asked, “Is anything wrong with that?” My wife and I looked at each other, flummoxed. We were proud that our daughter took a genuine interest in helping others but were unsure how to properly guide her in managing her money. Not wishing to lose a teachable moment, we met that evening as a family and agreed to set up a savings account for our daughter and to teach her about tithing to the Church and other charities. It was a good discussion and when we completed it, I truly wished I had the unselfish attitude that my daughter had.
And He looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the treasury, and He saw also a certain poor widow putting in two mites. So He said, “Truly I say to you that this poor widow has put in more than all; for all these out of their abundance have put in offerings for God, but she out of her poverty put in all the livelihood that she had.”
Luke 21:1-4 (NKJV)
There are few areas in life that create as much strife as money management. Regardless of one’s level of income, there will be disagreement on how to best allocate this important resource, particularly for charitable giving. Using the example of the poor widow, Jesus shows us that the proper attitude of our heart must be at the center of all our decisions. As this parable vividly demonstrated, only God sees the true intent and cost of our giving.
Like the lesson we sought to teach my daughter many years ago, God has recently been working in my heart. For years, my tithing to the Church and other charities was automatically deducted from my bank account. While this prevented me from missing any donation, it also distanced me from the reason for my actions. Now, I take the time to pray over each donation, asking God to bless the recipients and enable them to use the funds to establish the work of His Kingdom on this earth.
My daughter had the correct attitude and I am still learning from her unselfish and generous spirit.
Love and trust the Lord; seek His will in your life.