Our designated day to be thankful for all that we have has come and gone. Families everywhere have gathered together to rejoice and share in their abundance, and everyone has made their way back to whatever each person considers to be their “normal.”
Now is the time when people are turning their focus to Christmas–what to buy, where to buy it and how to get the best price. As everyone is preparing their homes and closets for all of the new things they’re planning to get, whether by gift or bargain shopping, I’m hearing many people question what to do with all of their “old” things–“old” being last years model in many cases.
In the past two years, I’ve been pleasantly surprised to see the number of people making donations rather than throwing away, but I’ve also heard a lot of doubt that “the right people” are getting what is donated, be it money or goods.
This doubt ties in similarly with not only the book that I’ve been studying, but also, it brings me back to a conversation that I had with someone close to me just before Thanksgiving. This conversation has replayed many times in my mind as I’ve gone over the questions and the possible answers and all of the things that I was too stunned to formulate at the time, and trying to come up with the answer to one certain question.
I’ll get to exactly what that question was in just a moment, but first I’ll explain a bit about the conversation that started all of this.
I don’t know how familiar my readers may be with the World Vision gift catalog, but up until about a year ago, I had never even heard of it or the concept that it carried. When I was introduced to the possibility of sending chickens, pigs, vaccines, water or even the chance for an education to countries and families where such things are luxuries, I was thrilled and couldn’t wait to share this with everyone that I saw.
Eventually my excitement was met with the following question, “How do I know that’s really where my money goes?”
I was stumped. How should I answer this question? Is there a right or wrong answer to this?
I walked away from what I was originally so excited about, now feeling deflated and defeated.
The question haunted me and I began asking God how I was supposed to respond. Certainly it would take more than that one question-valid as it may be in any such situation-to make me give up on this amazing opportunity to share blessings.
Over time, my answer came in two parts. The first part was simple. Faith. How do I know where my donation of anything goes to for sure? I don’t. I can’t. I just have to have faith and know that I am doing what God has told me to do,
“…give to charity…”
Yes, unfortunately some places where donations are made are scams. It’s not pretty, but it is the truth. That doesn’t mean that we should stop giving. It means that once it is out of our hands, it is in His hands and it is not for us to be concerned about anymore. I can only control my part, and the rest is up to the will of God, and whether I like the result or not, agree or not, or understand it or not, it is not for me to question.
The second part of my answer was supportive of the first, and just made everything ‘click’ all the more.
In “Revolution in World Missions“, K.P. Yohannan says,
“The waters of missions have been muddied. Today many Christians are unable to think clearly about the real issues because Satan has sent a deceiving spirit to blind their eyes… Satan knows that to stop world evangelism he must confuse the minds of the Western Christians. This he has done quite effectively.”
K.P. was clearly speaking about a different topic than giving, but in essence the point is the same; To slow down or stop the spread of Gods goodness, Satan had confused us all. “How do I know that’s really where my money goes?” That question is exactly that confusion.
So remember, not only this Christmas season, but throughout your life, give with a cheerful heart. The intentions of the heart are what is really important, it isn’t always about the end result.
“God loves a cheerful giver.”
2 Corinthians 9:7