Ti’s the season for giving. There’s no question about it. My good friend Sal Sberna raised 1.4 million at last weekend’s mission offering at his 4,000-member church in Houston, TX. A lot of non profits depend on December’s giving in order to survive the rest of the year. But no matter how often we give, there’s always the nagging question that seem to pop in the back of our minds: what if they misuse my money? What if instead of missions, my money goes to buy the pastor a new boat? Should the risk of my money being misused stop me from giving? The answer is a resounding “NO.”
Most of us know not to give to churches, ministries or solicitors that are not familiar to us. At least I hope you don’t. Unfortunately, there are too many shysters who pray on gracious people, specially the elderly. But if you’re not sure, take some time and check the charity out. Make sure they are an IRS recognized non profit (501 c3 status). But even the right credentials, longevity, and assurances are not enough to full-proof your gift.
Over the years I have developed a simple mindset for giving. No matter the size of the gift, my donation is to God first and foremost. Whether I’m giving to my church, to a ministry or to a stranger holding up a sign on the side of the road, I’m ultimately giving my money to God. The issue then, is not what people are going to do with my money; it becomes how they are going to use God’s resources. Once I give developed this mindset, I no longer worry or have the urge to follow the homeless man around to find out if he’s buying food or booze with my gift. Wherever the money goes is now God’s problem, not mine.
Have you ever given reluctantly to a cause?