*Disclaimer: This post is not meant to guilt-trip anyone into doing the same thing. I just wanted to share my motivation for giving in the hopes that it would help someone get a fresh perspective on finances.
Money is a sensitive topic to breach. Everyone has a different personal view on finances that may or may not be reflected by his or her actual spending habits. My personal view of finances have changed a LOT from when I was a poor-as-a-rat student who was completely dependent on my weekly (usually delayed) allowance. Let me share how it has changed over the years by starting my weird (?) penchant for giving money away.
Let’s just get one thing straight: I am far from being rich. I hope no one envisions a version of me rolling around piles of money falling down from heaven, because as much as I would love to try that, I simply don’t have piles of cash to roll in.
I give to others as an offering of love and remembrance to the Lord. Every time I give any amount, I tell God that I have not forgotten how it felt to be in the same situation of need; that I have not forgotten how it felt to be millions in debt despite being very careful and frugal with whatever salary I had; that I have not forgotten that it was not my hard work or effort or financial wisdom that got my family out of that debt; that it was Him who moved people’s hearts and caused them to feel compassion towards us. I tell Him that I have not stopped believing that He is a faithful God who knows all my present and future needs (Philippians 4:19); that I know that I am precious to Him (Matthew 10:29-31) and that He will never leave me in the dust to fend for myself (Jeremiah 29:11).
My desire to give was what actually what made me accept my current job. At that time, I felt like my family’s finances were stable enough to allow me to remain at home to look after my sisters and kids. I had quit my previous part-time job a few months back to straighten up some family stuff when my Dad had a stroke and subsequently passed away. My husband reassured me that being a sole breadwinner was fine with him, but I have been seeing news/ social media posts of various people in need that I really wanted to help but could not. A few times, I discussed donating with my husband and he graciously provided but I felt a bit guilty that I was giving away something that was not mine. Is that weird? I mean I know the meaning of conjugal property and all that, but I just had this NEED to give something that I had, something that I worked for.
I landed a job purely by accident when one of my closest friends referred me to her sister who was looking for doctors who were interested in a pharma-based, non-clinic, work-from-home kind of job. I was hesitant to apply at first because I was worried that I might not have time to be hands on with my kids, etc. I remember praying, “Lord, I will go ahead and apply for the job, but if You think this is a bad idea, please let them turn down my application. No hard feelings. I know You know what’s best for me and my family.” :)) Long story short, I did get that job and I’m currently working from home. It’s been crazy but mostly manageable. The best part that I remember about being employed again was when my first salary came in and I gleefully withdrew a portion and dropped it into the tithe box of my church. I remember silently praying a million thanks and thinking that my tithe was so small compared to what God has provided for us, but that I will continue to share this blessing not as repayment but as an offering of thanksgiving.
Giving to others reminds me that I have a job, not because I’m so hardworking or talented or smart. I have a job because God made it happen the way He did and whatever funds I have all came from Him. My money is HIS money and I want to use it to carry out His purposes; I don’t want to hoard His blessings for myself or my family, I want it to work for Him. I try to keep Proverbs 30:8-9 (NIV) close to my heart: “Keep falsehood and lies far from me; give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread. Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you and say, ‘Who is the LORD?’ Or I may become poor and steal, and so dishonor the name of my God.”
For the past two or three days, I’ve been listing down people’s names – those whose stories of need I’ve read and have made me remember my promise to the Lord. I was working on moving my funds around trying to see what amount I could give away to each of them and all my transactions were completed on Valentine’s Day, of all days. So on Valentine’s Day, my heart was full. On Valentine’s Day, God found a way to reawaken my compassion for others, which I honestly thought had already shriveled away for good.
Everyone has monetary needs, but knowing Who fulfills those needs gives me the freedom to give.
*In case you have been moved to give as well, please click on each person’s name to view their stories (came across their stories on Facebook):
Loida Bauto – A 26-year-old mother who has continuing financial needs due to ruptured arteriovenous malformation (AVM) and its complications
Aarone Jamora – A 7-year-old boy who suffered extensive burns when he tried to save his two younger siblings in a fire
Connie Almaria – battling uterine cancer