You walk to your mailbox, and there among the bills and junk mail is another familiar sight—a letter requesting financial support.
Or you're eating dinner and the phone rings. A very professional support raiser launches into a well-rehearsed monologue about the plight of the Uygurs. Before you can even process all this information, he asks, "You do care about the Uygurs, don't you?"
What caring Christian would say no? But just because you care doesn't mean you should give. Our resources are limited; we want to use them wisely and not just yield to immediate pressure.
Consider the following questions the next time you are presented with an opportunity to give.
Questions to Ask Yourself
•Am I being unduly pressured? Am I being manipulated? Second Corinthians 9:7 reminds us that we are not to give reluctantly or under compulsion.
•How does my spouse feel about this?
•What do I know about this ministry or individual? Have they proven themselves trustworthy?
•Do I agree with their philosophy of ministry?
•Have I prayed about this? James 1:5 tells us that if we ask, God will give us wisdom.
Questions to Ask the Support Raiser
•What is the purpose of this project?
•How much money are you attempting to raise, and how will it be used? Do you have a budget for this project?
•What percentage of the money raised goes directly to the project?
•If you fail to raise enough money, what happens to the donations you receive?
•Can I pray about this and get back to you? Even a few hours away from the pleading voice can give you a clearer perspective.
Giving is important, but none of us wants to give in a way that isn't pleasing to God. Asking these questions may turn you from a reluctant giver to a cheerful one.