There is no better exercise for the heart than reaching down and lifting people up” – John Holmes
Some who visit this website are already committed to giving and gifting. The reason for their generosity is varied and often times very personal.
There is a separate section of this website devoted to faith- based giving and this question will be discussed in more detail there. However, a couple motivational factors for believers are adherence to scriptural teachings and gratitude for God’s grace.
But what about those who might give occasionally, but for whatever reason, haven’t embraced the practice as an important purpose for their existence. Why should they consider such a radical change in ideology? The answer lies, at least in part, upon a reflection upon the varied reasons that charity really matters.
For one thing, we can look at our own lives and the difference that others have made along the way. For instance, one of the first things that come to my mind are those who have sacrificed life and limb so that we can enjoy freedom. This is something that most of us will never be called upon to do. Yet we enjoy so many benefits because of their actions. Remember those who volunteer their service and time: scout leaders, Sunday school teachers, summer camp volunteers, disaster relief workers, and compassionate acts of kindness by others, etc.
The financial contributions of others have built our churches, contributed to the universities we’ve attended, enabled research and assistance in the battle against debilitating diseases, provided for the needy in our community, contributed to the arts and music that we enjoy, maintain programs for children and the elderly, etc. We should want to give because we can appreciate the impact that others have had in our own lives. Think of specific instances in your own life where something or someone made a difference. Then think how things would be different if someone else had not stepped up.
A few other reasons for giving are:
- It brings happiness and joy. From this standpoint giving is both selfish and selfless.
- Because helping others and giving has a profound rippling effect. You can never anticipate the far reaching impact that a single act of kindness can have. Oftentimes the effects of our generosity extend beyond our immediate sphere as well as our lifetimes.
- Out of gratitude for what we have.
- Because giving sets an example for our children, family and friends.
- To help someone in need and the hope and change it can bring about.
- It conjures the feeling of purpose and meaning to the life of the giver.
- In a world that is focused on materialism, there seems to be an absence of love. Charity is a good way to demonstrate that love still exists.
- The tax savings available to individuals or companies attributable to gifting. Sometimes this enables individuals to give more.
- There is a need or cause that we’re passionate about; something that inspires us.
- To be a part of something bigger than ourselves.
- In memory or honor of someone special in our lives.
- The social aspect of being part of a cause.
- Although not necessarily altruistic, some give because of peer pressure or for recognition.
- Our upbringing.
In conclusion, there are overwhelming reasons as to why we should embody giving and gifting as part of our humanity. To the extent that this isn’t the case is probably due to our failure to reflect upon its importance. Just try to imagine how different our world would be if others had not given of their time, talents and resources.