It was Diwali. The landlord’s wife proudly told me that they were going down into the slum to give sweets to the poor people so they could celebrate, too. Once or twice a year they share their bounty with their neighbors.
Historically Christians have a reputation for giving. The vast majority of hospitals, schools, and orphanages have been built by Christians, who gave their time and money to make life better for strangers. But as our society has become more self-centered, giving falls away, even among Christians. People start to wonder why they give.
If it’s to ease their guilty conscience or “just because it’s a good thing to do,” they do it once in awhile, just whenever they feel like it or whenever their friends are doing it. This is mindless charity. Everybody does this, whether they have religious beliefs or not. Christians do not monopolize this market.
But that’s not why Christians are supposed to give!
Why did Christian men and women give up their entire lives to travel months to a land they had never seen, just to build or bring innovations or the Gospel to a people they had never met?
Because they knew and loved Someone who had given up Heaven to step into mud and love muddy children.
Not because it made them feel good. Not just when it they felt guilty.
This isn’t intended to degrade those who give out of a pure heart or, in innocence, wanting to help. But if you want to make a long-term impact (and followers of Christ do want this), I would challenge you to think about how you’re giving. In my next few blogs, I’m going to tell some stories I’ve seen and heard and show a few examples of what’s possible when money gets into the right hands.