There’s a certain feeling most of us get when we are asked for charity but just don’t want to give. It’s something between pity and guilt. It’s what makes us say “No, I’m sorry,” and start walking faster when a homeless man asks for change. We know we should give, but we don’t want to.
Most of us would agree it’s a good thing to give to charitable causes. But often, when faced with the opportunity to give, we pass it up for a thousand reasons that all end up being the same: we like keeping our money where it is. None of us are completely innocent of feeling this way. So the question is, how do we make ourselves prefer to give our money away?
The answer is simple: Just start giving.
Start with a dollar a day, a hundred dollars, a thousand – whatever the amount, just start giving and don’t stop. The truth is, you’ll love it, because charitable giving does two things: it makes you love money less, and love people more. Once you make a real impact with your giving, once you save a life or free a child from slavery, the importance of buying an extra donut or cup of coffee seems like nothing. The release you get from giving away what you have is like nothing else in the world.
When Jesus spoke to his disciples He told them, in Matthew 16:24, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.”
This remains true today. To truly follow Christ, we have to deny ourselves and take up the cross. But before most of us take up our crosses, we get stuck on the denial of self. This is understandable; most of our lives, we’ve been told to do the opposite, to work for ourselves, to build the most comfortable lives possible.
But Christ didn’t die for us to be comfortable in this world. If we are His followers, we should do exactly that: follow him. We should give all that we have so that others can know Him.
There’s no real way to ease yourself into Christian giving. It is, by definition, a radical act. It’s something that will seem like sacrifice before you do it, but end up being the most joyous part of your life. So start giving, today, and don’t stop. Start losing your life for His sake and find it.