Did you know as Canadians we spend 99.6% of our income on ourselves? The average donation in 2010 was $260 on the average family income of $69,860. Worse only 23% of Canadians claim a charitable donation. That means 77% claim zero. Until 11 years ago I was one of them. I’d give a $20 at church here or there. Even a $100 thinking I was generous. But until you look at your tax return you have no objective means of analyzing generosity. It’s like learning how to be rich. Learning how to be generous takes thought.
This is thin ice I’m stepping on; after all as Canadians we pride ourselves in helping around the world. But I really want you to wrestle with this for yourself. Don’t think about an image that we project and protect. Think about reality!
How are you going to make a difference.?
The Bible speaks about training in this area of our lives as the apostle Paul wrote to his apprentice Timothy:
It is required of a steward (property and money manager) that he be found faithful.
1 Corinthians 4:2
“Faithful” – What does that mean?
I believe it’s about integrity but it’s also about investment. Jesus told a story about a master giving three of his servants different amounts of talents, or money and then going away on a journey. To one he gave 5, to another 2, and to the last 1. The first and second doubled their money. The master rewarded them equally and gave them more upon his return. The last servant did not multiply his talent. He buried it and therefore suffered loss and was punished.
There is a principle in this story that is foundational to all business, worldwide. It’s called return on investment. God wants us to look for a return on investment with all He has entrusted to us, not just our giving. He’s looking for a return on His investment in us! He has blessed us by giving, His only Son, and he expects us to be a blessing to others, so His message can be spread throughout the world. We need to start thinking like good stewards with all of our time and money.
Growing up I’d heard this story but never fully understood it. Andy Stanley provides insight in Comparison Trap Part 3; What’s On Your Bookshelf. Andy’s key bottom line explains, “what you have is less important than what you do with what you have”. Watch the most important 2 minutes by clicking here.
There is a joy in giving that many have experienced – but as the statistics tell us, there are many more who, need to change their thinking and change their behavior to experience this joy! I want you to find the keys to becoming a generous person.
Truthfully I was not a good steward and until I was convinced that there was a change to be made and I wanted to make a difference – there was no joy in giving for me.
There are 2 questions that changed me:
The first; everyone can benefit by asking what’s the return on investment with my giving to help make a difference.
Where do you turn to for information on how to give, or who to give to?
Start with giving to your local church (10% being the start!) Then to get the highest return on investment I believe we should think overseas. In the west we make around $200 a day. In the developing world it’s less than $2 a day. By giving overseas we get a 100-fold return. But this isn’t going to last much longer. The rest of the world is developing quickly.
Imagine if we all started asking what’s the return on investment with my giving to help make a difference?
Attitude Do you realize how much of an effect you can have?
Action Start asking what’s the return on investment with my giving to help make a difference? Check back next week for question #2.
Question How will you make a difference?