I thought it unwise to move to the next budget category of expenditure without spending a little more time on giving. What is it and why do we do it?
A couple of months ago, I had the privilege of speaking to a group of young graduates on the subject matter. “Is giving necessary?” I asked. “Absolutely not!” A young chap retorted. He, however, confessed that the feel-good factor made it somewhat worthwhile. I smiled. Such a genuine response and a reflection of where my heart sometimes is. “To give or not to give? Reasonable or excessive? Broke, so what should I do? What will they say if I don’t contribute?”
My own search for answers has made it important to define giving.
Giving is a holy expression of thanking God for what He has done / does for us. Of course we cannot buy God or His favour but we have an opportunity to worship Him through our tithes and offerings.
Giving is our physical expression towards those we love. When I think about the generosity my parents continue to extend to us, I cannot help but desire to bring up my kids in the most generous of ways.
Giving is our human expression towards fellow men who cannot possibly make it on their own. Men who need to be helped up and out of poverty. Men seeking the opportunity to fish so that they too can dignify their kin. And, if you think about it, those men are sometimes us.
From a personal finance standpoint, I am convinced that planning out our gifts allows for purposeful, generous and cheerful giving…
- Purposeful: At the end of the day, giving should not create unnecessary dependencies or undue stress. Planning can help determine how much of my earnings goes towards specific categories of giving.
- Generously: Generous gifts communicate value but it isn’t always possible to do so with one paycheck. For example, you may want to give your brother a decent wedding gift but your salary wont allow. Budgeting for it across months will easily help achieve the goal.
- Cheerfully: There’s nothing as sad as regretting your giving because you did not put much thought to it. Taking a minute or more to think about your gift will help move it from being an abracadabra exercise to an exciting and blessed experience.
That said, there’s a lot more that can be given besides money. The idea is to cultivate a generous community that is more concerned about justice, mercy and faith.
Happy Valentines! ❤