When financial resources are limited, we are tempted not to share what we have. Tithing represents the 10% that God requires of us and merely demonstrates our obedience to Him. We do not pay tithe. We return God’s tithe to Him. It’s not negotiable. This is not the place to cut spending. This is our source of blessing.
Advertisers successfully implant covetousness in the minds of many people. After viewing various ads, you may suddenly decide that you want something that does not represent a need. Then you later wonder how your money disappeared. Sharing and giving provide antidotes to unnecessary spending.
The Antidote to Out of Control Spending
Sharing what you have with others will allow you to experience a sense of well being. Try sharing and experience the feelings of accomplishment and helpfulness. It allows God to use you to bless others.
In Mary Hunt’s book, The Financially Confident Woman, she says, “Learning to be a giver is probably the most important habit you can learn in your quest to become financially responsible. Being a generous person, one whose giving is so habitual is almost automatic, will bring balance not only to your finances but also to your life.”
There are ways to share your financial resources or your time. First, let’s examine the financial aspects.
Share With Your Church
Of course, tithing on your gross income comes first. Remember that churches require money just as your personal household does. A church must pay for electricity, water, literature, musicians, and other important expenses. Most churches provide assistance to people in need locally and sometimes nationally and internationally.
Share With a Food Pantry
If your church maintains a food pantry, contribute money, food, or volunteer your time. Food insecurity is what society is now calling hunger. What’s in your hand or your pantry that can be of assistance to another? Maranatha SDA Church in Montgomery, Alabama, provides a Mobile Food Pantry, quarterly distributing food to the community from a full or half tractor trailer. The need is so great that cars have already begun to line up by 5 a.m. Volunteers are on hand to distribute food until the last car has been served.
Share From Your Closets
Declutter those overstuffed closets. Donate clothes you haven’t worn in a while or that no longer fit. Are there pieces that still have price tags on them? Only donate items that are in good condition. Give them to specific individuals. You can also donate to charitable organizations that can provide you with a receipt for tax deductions. If you have duplicate household items, share some. Make your home more organized and less cluttered.
Share the Burden of Utility Costs
Many electric companies provide an invitation to assist a person in need of assistance. The amounts can be as little as $1, $5, or $10. Every little bit helps.
If you have a garden, share of your bounty. We’ve had church members bring freshly harvested produce to Prayer Meeting or weekly church services to share with sisters and brothers. There’s nothing like fresh produce that’s in season.
Share With Schools
Send money monthly to support a college, university, or academy. When my daughter was very young, she used to ask why people wouldn’t consistently just give without being begged during Homecoming. She noticed that they were well dressed and drove nice cars. From the mouth of babes . . .
Share With Shelters
National disasters such as fires, tornados, hurricanes, and earthquakes occur more frequently. Contact your local shelter to ascertain the current needs. Pay attention to developments through the news media or make inquiries about specific needs. They will inform you of needs such as food, blankets, clothing, water, diapers, and personal hygiene items for people being housed in the shelter.
Following a natural disaster, cleaning supplies and tarps are often needed. Make sure you donate in response to the current needs. Check online for updates.
During disasters, medical emergencies may require blood. You may donate at your local Red Cross. Blood remains needed throughout the year—not just during holidays when you’re feeling generous or during emergencies. My son started donating as a teenager.
Even if you feel like you are drowning in the quicksand of debt, you can still share. You will feel better by helping others. Volunteer your time in place of money.
Babysit for a Parent in Need
Do you know a single parent who could benefit from a break? Offer your services free of charge so that the parent can have some time away from the responsibilities of childcare and home. Your precious time will prove to be a blessing for someone.
Relieve a Caregiver
Sit with an elderly person so that the family member can get a break. The caregiver can rest or attend to responsibilities without worrying. This serves as a stress reducer.
Tutor or Mentor a Child/Teen
Share your time, talents, and skills with a child or teen. Some use a local library to tutor after school or during the summer time. It’s a safe, quiet place. Listen to a child read or read to them.
You can check current statistics related to money including giving (sharing) on NerdWallet.com or JustGiving.org.
In 2 Corinthians 9:7, God tells us: “So let each one give as he purposes in his heart not grudgingly or of necessity: for God loves a cheerful giver.”
God asks us to be faithful, but He also promises to take care of us. What do you have that you can share with someone else?