Imagine being a farmer who has just found among his geese, one that lays golden eggs. All you have to do is feed it and keep it healthy and it will continue producing those eggs which you could sell and make a lot of money. The catch however is that it only produces one egg each day so you need to be patient and plan well on how to use those eggs. Bearing this story in mind, I have come to learn about the fundamental principles of giving that are very practical in our daily lives.
We all want to give and participate in charities and for most of us it usually resides as a wish but it never really happens. Commitments in life often hinder our giving and though we seem to purpose in our hearts, doing it has never been as difficult as it is today. Regardless of our faith, our hearts go out to people in need and that nature of being drawn to such people is part of being human. It is therefore key to understand how we can consistently give a helping hand while meeting our own needs comfortably. In the bible, Paul writes to the Corinthians describing the whole perspective of giving with regards to how it was to be done and what it meant. Going back to the analogy we shall dig deeper in understanding and without a doubt make our lives easier.
- The Farmer
The farmer represents us and our role is to nurture the goose so that it keeps laying eggs; in that sense the farmer will consistently feed the goose and prepare its nesting place. The farmer is responsible for the well-being of the goose and unless he does these things ahead of time the goose will not lay any eggs. Preparation is often ignored yet this is where it all culminates. Sitting down and analyzing what we want to give is the first step towards giving.
It involves taking personal responsibility over our finances and the acquisition of relevant information. We need to come to a place where we understand where our money goes to and even set aside money to give. I personally found out that when I budget specific amounts to give and stick to the budget, I gave willingly, easily and bountifully because I had predestined to give that month. We also have to actively look for opportunities to give and gain relevant information about how our resources are being spent. Giving is good but giving foolishly without accountability is where most of us go wrong. Take personal responsibility to know how your charity is spent and keep people accountable; it will get you actively involved which adds joy to the act of giving while at the same time stretching you mind.
This brings me to the other advantage of preparation which is the growth in creativity. In case I budget to spend a certain amount of money each month and suddenly I run out yet there are more needs, I begin to look for creative options to raise that money aside from my savings. I begin to see the profitable ventures my charity can get involved in so that I ease the financial burden on me. Haphazard giving does not allow for creativity as we give occasionally and when resources are available, however when we are tied to a commitment of consistency we begin to think of options.
Paul was asking the Corinthians to prepare for the coming of the Macedonians, whom he had told of their good giving, so that they could give the best they had. He was simply saying cheerful giving comes from a place of preparing beforehand and we set ourselves up to give the best we can. When we prepare to give before it is necessary, we give happily and bountifully.
2nd Cor. 9:5-7 Therefore I thought it necessary to exhort the brethren to go to you ahead of time, and prepare your generous gifts beforehand, which you had previously promised, that it may be ready as a matter of generosity and not as a grudging obligation. But this I say: He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. So let each one of us give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver.
- The Goose
Without the goose, the farmer would not be as lucky. This is the main resource where abundance flows from in the form of golden eggs. We also have resources within our reach, which we can use to help people; in fact, we are supposed to be channels of resources, availing what we have to those who do not have. Unfortunately, we limit our resources to finances and thus base our level of giving on our monetary capability. However, our resources go beyond financial assets to human assets, intellectual assets and even civic assets.
Human assets are based on our relationships and character; they go to the level of talking to people, advising, appreciating and even encouraging them. The reason why many leaders feel lonely at the top is because those they lead limit their resources to the financial perspective and being that they seem to be doing well, no one comes to their aid. However, encouraging and appreciating our leaders is one of the highest forms of giving.
We have been trained in various vocations and we all have special skills and unique talents that can be harnessed into great ideas. The people who seek our help often lack certain skills which would enable them to meet their own need; this is where our education, experiences and ideas come into action. It is a case of teaching people how to fish instead of giving them fish. Wisdom that we have acquired in different fields can be harnessed to create something better as long as we stop limiting our views of resources.
Our civic resources come in the form of private foundations and charitable contributions that we get involved in either at our institutions or with friends. When we pool our different resources together, we are able to do much more and offer a helping hand consistently. Remember the goose only lay one egg each day and the farmer had to plan around that one egg? The same happens to us, sometimes we are tied down to offering just one of the resources at a given time. However when we come together, that one thing that seems too small can be used alongside other things to do something bigger. Just like the farmer, we work around what we have.
Paul’s prayer to the Corinthians was that due to their good giving, God would bless them in all things. He understood that we not only seek to prosper financially but along all levels be it our relationships, intellectually and in influence. Because the Corinthians had learnt to give what they had, they would be blessed in the other areas as well.
2nd Cor. 9:8-9 And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work. As it is written: He has dispersed abroad, He has given to the poor; His righteousness endures forever.
My prayer for you this week is that you may take time to analyze what has been put in your hands, plan how to work around it in your giving and that tremendous creativity will flow your way!
- My Strategy For Giving Away Millions. (greatriversofhope.wordpress.com)
Ecclesiastes 1:16-18 I communed with my heart saying, “Look I have attained greatness and have gained more wisdom than all who were before me in Jerusalem. My heart has understood great wisdom and knowledge.” And I set my heart to know wisdom and to know madness and folly. I perceive that this also is grasping for the wind. For in much wisdom is much grief, and he who increases knowledge increases sorrow.
It would not be fair to leave you with this information and let you try to change by your own wisdom and strength-it is like chasing the wind. Only in Jesus Christ does all this make sense and by the guidance of the Holy Spirit will we know the way to go. Say this prayer and receive a new life..
Heavenly Father, I come to You in the Name of Jesus. Your Word says, “Whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Acts 2:21). I am calling on You. I pray and ask Jesus to come into my heart and be Lord over my life, according to Romans 10:9-10—”If thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” I do that now. I confess that Jesus is Lord, and I believe in my heart that God raised Him from the dead.
I am now reborn! I am a Christian—a child of Almighty God! I am saved! You also said in Your Word, “If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?” (Luke 11:13). I am also asking You to fill me with the Holy Spirit. Holy Spirit, rise up within me as I praise God. I fully expect to speak with other tongues as You give me utterance (Acts 2:4).
The prayer was obtained from the Kenneth Copeland Ministries.