This 30 Days Honesty Blogging dare is hosted by Tom Baker. Pop on over and check out his blog, including a list of the other participants in this fun - and sometimes challenging - dare.
Day 9: When the cashier gives me this amount of money for change I know it's too much money to dump in the charity bucket...
When it comes to giving I try to be sensitive to what is in my heart to do. I believe that, as much as it is important to give, as much is it important with what attitude you do it. I don't think that resentful giving bears blessing. How do you feel when someone gives to you with a There! Take it! attitude? I don't know about you, but it makes me feel like saying, Rather keep it - thanks, but no thanks.
I've always had to live on a budget. When I was younger I gave away everything I had - even to the point of being unable to meet my own basic needs. I thought that it was the "Christian thing" to give, and I felt very guilty for saying no when I really didn't have anything to give, or when I started feeling resentful because my own basic needs were not met. I learned the hard way that charity begins at home. Even God says that He will bless a giver with enough to meet his own needs, and (then more) to give to others.
I really want to be a giver, and I really want to help people, but I also have to constantly remind myself that it was never my responsibility to help the whole world - ever single person in need - and I don't have to feel like a failure for it. No one person can help the whole world, but if each one does what he can that is in front of him, then together we help the world.
I don't have a hard-and-fast rule. If I stand with 10 bucks in my hand and I feel in my heart that I should give it, I do. Same goes for having 100 bucks or 1 buck. There are times when I won't give anything, or have nothing to give, then I don't.
One thing that does bother me sometimes, is when I have 10 cents. I feel like that is an insult. What do you buy with 10 cents in South Africa? The cost of living has shot through the roof in the last eighteen months.
In most cases though, I would much rather buy someone a meal (that they have chosen for themselves), or give blankets or clothing - depending on what I've been made aware is the need - than give money. When it comes to charity organisations, I have a selected few that I've chosen for specific reasons and that I contribute to. Again, I can't possibly support every single charity; there's just too many of them.
For me the rule of thumb is follow your heart.