I’m reading a helpful book called Friend Raising by Betty Barnett. It’s not for everyone, but if you’re involved in ministry, non-profit efforts, or working to mobilize people for a cause, I’d recommend it. Ms. Barnett gives lots of practical advice about how to love people.
On generosity, she cites a Reader’s Digest study that showed just how few people give to charities. According to the study, 2.3% of churchgoers give, while only 1.3% of non-churchgoers. I found these numbers very surprising. My guess would have been that something like half of all people, maybe more for churchgoers, give to charity.
In case you, like me, need a reminder that giving isn’t just important but a privilege, take a look at Proverbs 11.
24 One gives freely, yet grows all the richer; another withholds what he should give, and only suffers want. 25 Whoever brings blessing will be enriched, and one who waters will himself be watered. 26 The people curse him who holds back grain, but a blessing is on the head of him who sells it.
A few verses later, Proverbs 11:28 shows the futility of “financial peace” found in your bank account or loan balances: “Whoever trusts in his riches will fall, but the righteous will flourish like a green leaf.”
I think Proverbs 11:25 is a huge encouragement: Whoever brings blessing will be enriched, and the one who waters will himself be watered. Giving and supporting a ministry isn’t a business deal, it’s a partnership with mutual giving and receiving. If both sides aren’t giving and receiving, the situation needs some attention.
I hope you are encouraged today to give with joy, generosity, and expectation.