‘More blessed to give than receive’

In speaking with a government official recently I was told that last year the average Canadian gave $85 to charity.

In speaking with a government official recently I was told that last year the average Canadian gave $85 to charity. He went on to say that for this reason, when someone’s charitable donations approach eight to 10 per cent of their income, they’re immediately suspect of making a false report and may be asked to verify their claim. (Incidentally, I’ve read that the average church member contributes between 1.5 to 2.5 per cent of their income to the Lord’s work and the lower the family income, the higher the percentage of giving).

The Scriptures’ teaching about giving and generosity to the Lord’s work, to the poor and to each other is multitudinous. The focus is typically upon attitude not amount. For example, 2 Corinthians 9:7 says, “Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.”

Alexander the Great, on exercises with his troops, rode by a poor man begging for alms. He threw the man several gold coins. One of his lieutenants said, “Sir, copper coins would adequately meet a beggar’s need. Why give him gold?” Alexander responded, “Copper coins would suit the beggar’s need, but gold coins suit Alexander’s giving.” While I suspect that Alexander’s liberality was somewhat vanity-based, the truth of the matter is that generosity speaks more about the nature of the giver than it does the need of the recipient.

A true story from many years ago, involves a 10-year-old boy who climbed onto a stool in the local restaurant. He asked the waitress, “How much is an ice cream sundae?” “Fifty cents” she replied, and the boy reached into his pocket, pulled out some change and began counting. She frowned and waited impatiently as he counted through his coins.

Looking up at the waitress he asked, “How much is a dish of plain ice cream?” Rolling her eyes. She snapped, “Thirty five cents!” He placed a quarter and 2 nickels on the counter and said, “I’ll have the plain ice cream please.”

When the waitress returned to clear the counter a tear came to her eyes. Tucked under the empty dish were 2 nickels and 5 pennies…the boy had enough money for a sundae, but he’d ordered plain ice cream so that he could leave her a tip.

C.S. Lewis speaking about generosity stated, “I don’t believe one can settle how much we ought to give. I am afraid the only safe rule is to give more than we can spare.” And George Mueller, a man who experienced God’s provision powerfully and perennially said, “God judges what we give by what we keep.”

“The Lord Jesus himself said, It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35).

Pastor Ross Helgeton is the senior pastor at Erskine Evangelical Free Church.

— Faith & Reflection



Just Posted

Alberta Fish and Wildlife Officers ask for the public’s help with unsolved poaching cases

Officers are seeking tips on five separate incidents in the Stettler & Camrose areas in November 2017

Stettler Hospital to host a pregnancy nutrition class later this month

Registered Dieticians will discuss strategies and tips for new and expecting mothers

Stettler Town Council lays out 2018 Strategic Plan

Five priorities identified for the Town to tackle this year

A Look Back – Stettler Independent Archive Files

Originally Submitted By: Margaret Connon and Mary-Jane Jackson Updated By: Landin Chambers

Town of Stettler joins AUMA’s call for more equitable police funding

Letter will be written to local MLA supporting a new police funding model

WATCH: Red Deer celebrates one year out from 2019 Canada Games

Community gathers at Great Chief Park to commemorate Games milestone

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

VIDEO: B.C. deer caught obeying traffic signs

A herd of deer in Fernie, B.C. is getting attention online after stopping for a stop sign

Petition wants fundraiser dropped for family of man cleared in Boushie’s death

Group says GoFundMe is profiting from the young Indigenous man’s death

Porch lights turn on for Canadian teen behind #BeccaToldMeTo movement

New Brunswick’s Rebecca Schofield had asked her Facebook followers to perform random acts of kindness

Calgary man dies in Mexico following sudden illness

Troy Black was with his wife, Lindsay, in Puerto Vallarta when he began vomiting blood on Thursday

Virtue and Moir break their own world record

Virtue and Moir break short dance record to sit first in ice dance at Olympics

New doping charge could hurt Russia’s chance at reinstatement

Russia could lose its chance to be reinstated before the end of the Winter Olympics because of a doping charge against curling bronze medallist Alexander Krushelnitsky.

‘Black Panther’ blows away box office with $192M weekend

In estimates Sunday, Disney predicted a four-day holiday weekend of $218 million domestically and a global debut of $361 million.

Most Read

Weekly delivery plus unlimited digital access for $50.40 for 52 issues (must live within 95 kilometers of Stettler) Unlimited Digital Access for one year for $50.40 Prefer to have us call you? Click here and we’ll get back to you within one business day.