For someone who is a huge proponent of giving and actually even makes a living based on it – it probably seems a little weird that I would be writing about ‘giving gone wrong.’
We all have those ‘Golden Rules’ that we operate from. I’m not talking about the 10 Commandments – those are a given. But those personal rules we set in place for ourselves to make sure we don’t make a fool of ourselves. It’s funny when we break those rules it reminds us why we have those rules to begin with.
One of my Giving Golden Rules is not to give to desperation or in isolation.
As someone who meets with a lot of ministries, I’ve learned that I have to set boundaries. When I feel personally drawn to a ministry from a giving standpoint – I take the information home and share with my family. From there we pray over it and decide as a family if and/or how much we want to give from our family Giving Fund.
Earlier this year I broke that Golden Rule. I met with a ministry leader who shared the drastic desperation their ministry was in. Literally they were looking at not making payroll that week. After the meeting I went straight to my desk, logged in to our family Giving Fund and requested a grant be sent to the ministry.
As I reflect on it now I realize my motives were not what they should have been. I was in ‘hero mode’. I wanted to be the hero of the story the one who ‘saved the day’ with my gift. I didn’t pray about it. I didn’t share it with my family. I didn’t give because I greatly cared about the cause.
I don’t even know if my giving made a difference. I have not heard one word from the ministry. I am reminded that giving is not designed to make me the hero of the story but an opportunity for God to engage my heart in a cause. He wants my giving to be about my transformation, my spiritual growth and my dependency in Him.