When you hear the words, “support our organization,” does your mind go straight to finances? For the longest time, my answer would have been yes. Our culture has created a very narrow view of the ways that we can support nonprofits and local ministries, and I think I have fallen victim to this ideology. Growing up, I always saw my parents write checks at various fundraising banquets and seal them in little pre-addressed envelopes. I always thought, “Wow, that is so generous of them!” But the older I got, the more I started to take note of the other things—the hours they spent volunteering at a local care center, the ways they stewarded their gifts in starting a Christmas ministry, and so on. Suddenly, giving meant more than an envelope.
We have all heard that we are to give of our time, talent, and treasure. I think that each of us struggles uniquely with one or more of those three areas. As a college student, I am guilty of trying to exempt myself from financially supporting. I convince myself that I will save now so that I can give more later, or I reason that because my parents are still supporting me financially, it is unfair to them if I give of the few resources that I have. What silly excuses those are.
In Mark chapter 10, a man approaches Jesus with a deep and determining question: “What must I do to inherit eternal life?” (verse 17). Jesus recited the commandments—knowing full-well that the man already was familiar with them—and waited for the man’s response. When the man declares he has kept the commandments all his life, Jesus tells him the real price of following Him: “‘One thing you lack,’ he said. ‘Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me’” (verse 21). Notice that this verse started with a treasure sacrifice (“sell everything you have”), but it ended with a time and talent sacrifice (“then come, follow me”).
God wants us to give from our heart, not just our pocket or our calendar; He wants us to give genuinely and not out of legalistic obligation. Consider the ways you are currently giving, in general, as well as the ways you can give more. What ways are you supporting Breath of Life Haiti? Are you praying? Funding? Spreading the word? Going to Haiti? Encouraging those on the ground level there? Chances are that if you are reading this, God is asking you to give something somewhere. Pray for God to make it clear to you the ways He is calling you to support the various ministries in your life, as well as the people running them. You will never regret what you have given to others—only what you have withheld for yourself. Give faithfully. Support God’s ministries well.