I do not believe one can settle how much we ought to give. I am afraid the only safe rule is to give more than we can spare. In other words, if our expenditure on comforts, luxuries, amusements, etc., is up to the standard common among those with the same income as our own, we are probably giving away too little. If our charities do not at all pinch or hamper us, I should say they are too small. There ought to be things we should like to do and cannot do because our charitable expenditure excludes them.
– CS Lewis, Mere Christianity
When you learn, teach.
When you get, give.
– Maya Angelou
God has given us two hands —
one to receive with and the other to give with.
We are not cisterns made for hoarding; we are channels made for giving.
We are cups, constantly and quietly being filled.
The trick is knowing how to tip ourselves over and let the beautiful stuff out.
As leaders, we are never responsible for filling anyone else’s cup.
Our responsibility is to empty ours. – Andy Stanley
An old Nigerian proverb says,
“It is the heart that gives; the fingers just let go.”
There’s enough for everyone’s need but not enough for everyone’s greed.
Jesus taught us that if we share, if we combine our resources with trust in God, there is enough — the abundance mentality. This perception that there is enough connects directly to our willingness to share compassionately. It flows naturally from being detached from our possessions; when we want less, we have enough.
– Christopher Maricle, The Jesus Priorities
Psalm 23:5 (NRSV)
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.
Maimonides, a 12th century Rabbi and philosopher, proposes there are 8 different levels of giving. They are listed below from “lowest” to “highest” ethically. Anonymous giving is ranked ethically “higher” because it demonstrates humility and no personal desire or need for recognition, praise, credit or gratitude in return for the gift.
8. Giving reluctantly or unwillingly
7. Giving willingly but in a way that is inadequate
6. Giving adequately, yet only after being asked
5. Giving adequately, before need to be asked or urged
4. Giving publically to an anonymous recipient (such as giving to an organization without hiding your identity and without knowing the recipient.)
3. Giving anonymously to a known recipient
2. Giving anonymously to an unknown recipient
1. Giving anonymously in such a way that the unknown recipient is no longer dependent upon others (such as providing jobs so persons may care for themselves)
2 Corinthians 9:6-12 (NRSV)
The point is this: the one who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and the one who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each of you must give as you have made up your mind, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to provide you with every blessing in abundance, so that by always having enough of everything, you may share abundantly in every good work. As it is written, “He scatters abroad, he gives to the poor; his righteousness endures forever.” He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness. You will be enriched in every way for your great generosity, which will produce thanksgiving to God through us; for the rendering of this ministry not only supplies the needs of the saints but also overflows with many thanksgivings to God.
The Gift Economy: Karma Kitchen
Imagine a restaurant where there are no prices on the menu and where the check reads $0.00 with only this footnote: “Your meal was a gift from someone who came before you. To keep the chain of gifts alive, we invite you to pay it forward for those dine after you.” That’s Karma Kitchen, a volunteer-driven experiment in generosity. Karma Kitchen first opened in Berkeley on March 31, 2007, by several volunteers inspired to seed the value of a “gift economy”. The restaurant is run by volunteers, meals are cooked and served with love, and offered to the guest as a genuine gift. To complete the full circle of giving and sustain this experiment, guests make contributions in the spirit of pay-it-forward to those who will come after them. In keeping this chain going, the generosity of both guests and volunteers helps to create a future that moves from transaction to trust, from self-oriented isolation to shared commitment, and from fear of scarcity to celebration of abundance.
As a Christian, I do not believe in the concepts of karma or reincarnation. However, I fully embrace the concepts of God’s abundance, fostering community, exercising faith through good works, and the generous employment of time, talent, and treasure as a testimony to the grace and provision of God. – Lisa <><
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