Thursday, November 12, 2015

Of Cups and Charity II

So how should Christians practice Charity?

Yesterday I had small suggestion, potentially the easiest one:   Give what we spend on our pleasures to a worthy (in my case Christian) organization.  But that is just a starter.  I would like to go a bit deeper.

Some folks would make the argument (I suppose) that if one merely spends money at the places that are "doing good" this may be sufficient.  It is probably a step in the right direction, of course - but to quote an old adage which applies "Do your giving while you're living so you're knowing where it's going" - the concept being, of course, that once the money leaves your hands it may or may not go where it is supposed to go, and that any organization that is not a well run charity inevitably eats up money in overhead.

So how should Christians practice charity?

One suggestion, based on C.S. Lewis' quote yesterday, is give generously.  To the point that it "pinches" us a bit (I use that word in quotes as if by "pinching" we define things as we cannot afford small luxuries, it is hardly a pinch).  A second and required one is, of course, to continue to give to our local church.  If we have made the commitment to it we are commanded to support it.

The third is to give strategically.

What do I mean?  Example:  the church my wife is employed at, once a year, does a single day mass offering for a local Christian based charity.  This is not a charity they are associated with deeply.  This is not to replace the regularly weekly giving.  This is a one time over the top act of generosity for which the intention is to drastically change the course of that charity.

Imagine if Christians gave like this - not just as we are to do per Scripture - but on top of that in a way that strategically blessed both specific ministries and the people served by them.  Imagine if a city was able to say "Hunger? Homelessness?  If people are hungry and homeless in this place, it is because they choose to be.  The Christians here have made it such that the resources are freely available to all who need it."

One thought as we ponder this for tomorrow's posting:  if Christians, if the Church, gave like this, what would it look like to the world?

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