The first time that I remember someone telling me that I was being selfish and not thinking of others – not only shocked me – but made me angry!
Who did they think they were?!
Mind you, this was actually in a room full of people and this speaker was talking to everyone. But it certainly seemed to be directed straight at me!
The speaker was explaining that good people use money for good purposes. So, if we were good people, and just didn’t have the finances to do good – then accepting that excuse from our self was actually not good.
It took a moment for that to really make sense to me. See, I have heard from lots of people that they are not materialistic and not interested in making a bunch of money. Which made sense, or so I thought.
Until I thought.
If there was a need that I felt was worthy, and yet I didn’t contribute because I couldn’t afford to – what then? Not being able to help because of lack of income and finances means that I am not helping support that need. Who am I hurting by not having more money?
Ouch. This hit too close to home.
Suddenly I began to think over the people that I generally heard say that they weren’t materialistic and weren’t interested in increasing their income. I began to realize they were seldom the same people that I knew contributed to good causes. That most often they were just like me – saying that I wished I could afford to help, but I just couldn’t.
I decided it was time to do a little self reflecting. What was different about my life, versus someone that was making more of a difference? Did they have more hours in the day? No. Did they have a better advantage then I did? Not really – we are all given opportunities – it is just a matter of taking action.
So, what was it?
Could it be that I wasn’t capable of more? No. Perhaps I didn’t know that I wasn’t contributing? Nope. Maybe it was because I had too many time constraints? No more than many others.
Then I realized.
I was tired at the end of the day. I was unsure how to make more money. I had a lot on my plate. I had a family. I had a mom to take care of. I was achy. I was too busy.
Who was I thinking of?
I realized the difference between myself and someone that was out there generally making a difference, was that I was self focused and they were others focused.
That was the difference.
I was thinking about me.
To be able to see that if I generated more of an income, I could help more people required me to take my eyes off of myself and my own situation. I needed to see that my lack of contribution was actually hurting others.
I needed to think of others.
It isn’t greedy to make more money. It isn’t greedy to do things to generate income. What is greedy is to do that only for myself. What is greedy is to not make more money and hold tighter onto my little stash.
2 Corinthians 9:7 Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. (ESV English Standard Version Bible)
So, today, I have decided to think of others. Today I have decided it is up to me to be able to give more. I have decided in my heart, because I love how it feels to give.
Will it take more of my time? Maybe, but if I am honest – watching an entire series in a matter of a couple of days isn’t actually helping; or surfing on the net and posting about being tired doesn’t make me feel better. Besides, the positive energy that I feel when I am doing something good will actually help me feel better in general. I find the busier and more productive that I am = the more I accomplish.
Besides, isn’t my time worth more? My time can make a difference.
How about you? How do you feel when you give? Do you know a good cause that needs more people to be able to contribute to it?
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Looking at you, Amy