Just before Christmas, each year, my Bride and I go down a list of “Year-end-Charities” that we would like to support. It’s not a really big deal… just some “special” gifts that we would like to make. But, you know, it’s got that “tax-deductible” element to it. Unfortunately, that’s the same way “most people” think of it. But the “un-seen” part of all of this is that we can “give millions away” if we’re inclined, but it will all be for “naught,” unless we do it for the right reason.
So…what is the right reason? Unless it is done in the name of God; for the Love of God; for our “fellow-man,” then it’s for NAUGHT. There are many, many Charitable Trusts that give millions, upon millions, away each year… all for the “tax-deduction.” God is simply not part of the transaction. Charity begins at home… they say. I AGREE 100% with that logic. Help you children to whatever degree is necessary, and that one’s comfortable with. But there’s still other CHARITABLE acts that we can engage.
We can be lenient to a friend or one of our children, as the case may warrant. When my oldest son, as a young teen, came home “just 5 minutes” past his 11PM curfew, I suspended his driving rights to DRIVE for 30-days. He took it on the chin, but the next evening, he came to be and said that he accepted my punishment (because he was late (something about a lawn-mower falling out of his trunk… that was very original), but that he “didn’t think the punishment fit the crime.” I thought about it for a few days, and AGREED with him. I was wrong, and commuted his punishment to “time-served.” I was charitable by being LENIENT.
Then there’s one that I’ve always had trouble with… COMMUNITY SERVICE. I’ve NEVER been much of a joiner; but still, “giving back to your community,” is a recognized method of charitableness. There are the “more simple” ways of being Charitable… such as FORGIVING, be kind and generous (remember the waitress with a “good-tip), and even being “easy-going.” Being CONSIDERATE, SYMPATHETIC, BIG-HEARTED and having a GENEROUS-HEART to those we work with, socialize with, and more so, even… our FAMILY MEMBERS.
And, of course, supporting your “spiritual endeavors,” should ALWAYS be high on your list. We are told in Isaiah 58:7, 10 – “Is it not to divide your bread with the hungry, and bring the homeless poor into the house; When you see the naked, to cover him; and not to hide yourself from your own flesh” And if you give yourself to the hungry, and satisfy the desire of the afflicted, then your light will rise in darkness, and your gloom will become like midday.” And, in 2 Corinthians 9:6-7 – “Now this I say, he who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must do just as he has proposed in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” And in 1 Peter 4:8-9, it says: And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins. Use hospitality one to another without grudging. And, most importantly, it says in Colossians 3:17 – Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.
The ULTIMATE CHARITABLE GIFT, was the Crucifixion …the giving of the Life of His only begotten Son, so that ALL of Mankind would have “life-ever-lasting.”