Giving is Not Just About Money

givingAs Christians we often place special importance on giving money, to the Church, to other charities, to those in need who are close to us. But what if you don’t have extra money to give? Or if you’re one of the people who are in need? Should you not give?

The reality is that even if you don’t have money to give, there’s always something that you can offer to others and even to the Church in lieu of money.

Giving time and effort

In Matthew 9:37 Jesus said, âThe harvest is plentiful but the workers are few.❠Even then, while Jesus walked among us in the body, there were far too few who would step forward and give their time and effort for Kingdom work. That verse is as true now as it was then. Many times people give money to the Church in lieu of their time and effort, even though the latter is needed more than money.

All churches and charities need people to give their time and effort, even if they can’t give money. People are needed for the collection and disbursement of funds, for administrative functions and for providing goods and services to beneficiaries and others.

Time and effort isn’t less important than money either. If a church or a charity don’t have volunteers to run the organization, they might have to pay people and that will cost even more money. Your time and efforts matter!

The same is true of the people in need around you. Many of them need help, as in physical help, more than they need money. Anyone who is able bodied can provide time and effort to a person who is elderly, disabled or going through a rough time in life.

Giving material goods

Material goods can also be just as good as money. Donating old furniture or a used car to a church, charity or someone in need may enable people facing trouble to get by in life.

There are times when simply providing a home cooked meal to a struggling family can be the greatest witness of all. It says you care enough to contribute to their well being, and the message that conveys can be stronger than a cash donation. It puts a person behind a gift.

The next time you’re going to replace something in your homeâ”a lawn mower, a fan, a refrigerator or anything that still worksâ”consider donating it to a charity or give it to a person or family in need. That’ll be no less valuable than money.

Giving expertise

Every one of us have skills that we could use to help others. Sometimes you hear of a doctor or dentist who volunteer their services in a poor neighborhood one day a monthâ”we can all do the same thing.

Can you prepare income taxes? Do home repairs? Deal with creditors? Sew clothing? There are people in need who could use your services right now.

Giving compassion

In a world where disconnected people are all too common, sometimes the best gift we can give is compassion. During normal timesâ”what ever they areâ”most of us may be quite content to be separated from others. It’s become something of a cultural norm in a world of electronic entertainment and security systems. But when death, disease or some other crisis hits we suddenly need people. Being available to be a support in a crisis is another way to give, and its even more valuable than money most times.

In the middle of crisis, we all need someone to talk to, someone to offer us support or simply to listen. Most of us, most of the time, never seem to have the time to do this. Being available to someone in need is a real gift, even and often especially if the person is a complete stranger. In fact, what better Christian witness is there than giving the gift of compassion to a stranger?

Giving non-monetarily shouldn’t be a substitute if you DO have money

So far, I’ve discussed giving in lieu of money, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t give money if you’re in a position to do soâ”and most of us are.

Giving money might be more about us than it is about the people or organizations we give our gifts to. It’s an indication of the state of our hearts. As believers, we must be willing to let go of what we have, especially money. When we do, we’re making a statement about our own faithâ”not for others to see, but for God. We’re telling Him that we trust Him enough to let go of our money.

Most of us are in a position to give generously, whether it’s time and effort, material goods, expertise, compassionâ”or money. The next time you think you have no money to give, think a little harder about ALL that you have, and you’ll find plenty that you can give.

Have you ever failed to give because of a lack of money?

photo by krislitman