Give What You Can

“I am only one, but still I am one.  I cannot do everything, but still I can do something; and because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do something that I can do.” -Helen Keller

Our culture tends to praise the person that “does it all.”  I think this is especially true during the holiday season.  We can feel pressured to get just the right gift for someone, or to get gifts for every person we know.  We are bombarded with things we can volunteer for and charities or causes to support.  Don’t get me wrong – all those things are amazing!  However, one person is not meant to do everything, and you shouldn’t feel guilty about the things you can’t do.  Don’t compare yourself to what someone else generously gave that was covered in the media.  Don’t feel bad if you are not the woman who hand-makes all her gifts or bakes meals for her entire family with perfection.  Don’t refuse to do something just because you can’t do everything or do something “big.”  I encourage you to find ways to use your personality, gifts, talents, and resources and do what you can to bless others this holiday season.

2 Corinthians 9:7 says, “So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver.”  Here are just a few examples of how the Lord has shown me ways I can give, and I truly enjoy giving in these ways:

  • As an introvert, I’m not good with words and don’t generally call family or friends around the holidays just to talk.  However, I love picking out pretty Christmas cards with good sentiments and snail mailing them to people I don’t often get to see.
  • I am naturally thoughtful and intentional about what I give, and I love giving presents to others.  One of my friends’ love language is words of affirmation, so I got her a calendar that has an inspirational quote each month as well as a mug with the Wonder Woman logo on it.  Those are affirming without me having to physically say a word.
  • I have learned to pray about what to get people and to find good deals on my shopping trips.  One time, I was shopping with my mom for some family members when I saw a quality stainless steel travel bottle in one of my friend’s favorite color, and it was on sale for only $5.  I knew my friend, who is a missionary and lives outside of the country, would be visiting around the holidays so I got it for her.  When I gave her the bottle, she said that she was needing one and was just going to buy one for herself.  God knew a need of my friend and used me to provide it, and He made it so neither of us had to spend much money.
  • I don’t care much for large group parties, but I love spending one-on-one quality time with people.  I certainly prefer listening to talking, and listening to others is a way I love to give.
  • I grew up taking dance lessons.  Around Christmas, my studio went to the local hospital and nursing homes to perform.  While at the time I didn’t think of that as giving, I’m sure it brightened the days of the elderly/sick people who loved seeing little girls all dressed up and looking cute dancing to Christmas songs.
  • While I can’t give to every good charity or cause that exists, I ask the Lord which one(s) He wants me to give to as well as what amount(s) to give.

Here are some more scriptures that I hope inspire you about giving:

“He who has a generous eye will be blessed, for he gives of his bread to the poor.” -Psalm 22:9  (Notice it says gives “of his” bread.  You can’t give something you don’t have, but you will be blessed for what you can and do give.)

“Therefore, when you do a charitable deed, do not sound a trumpet before you as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory from men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward.  But when you do a charitable deed, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, that your charitable deed may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will Himself reward you openly.” -Matthew 6:2-4

“And being in Bethany at the house of Simon the leper, as He sat at the table, a woman came having an alabaster flask of very costly oil of spikenard.  Then she broke the flask and poured it on His head.  But there were some who were indignant among themselves, and said, ‘Why was this fragrant oil wasted?  For it might have been sold for more than three hundred denarii and given to the poor.’  And they criticized her sharply.  But Jesus said, ‘Let her alone.  Why do you trouble her?  She has done a good work for Me.  For you have the poor with you always, and whenever you wish you may do them good; but Me you do not have always.  She has done what she could.  She has come beforehand to anoint My body for burial.  Assuredly, I say to you, wherever this gospel is preached in the whole world, what this woman has done will also be told as a memorial to her.’” -Mark 14:3-9

And He [Jesus] looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the treasury, and He saw also a certain poor widow putting in two mites.  So He said, ‘Truly I say to you that this poor widow has put in more than all; for all these out of their abundance have put in offerings for God, but she out of her poverty put in all the livelihood that she had.’” -Luke 21:1-4

“I have coveted no one’s silver or gold or apparel.  Yes, you yourselves know that these hands have provided my necessities, and for those who were with me.  I have shown you in every way, by laboring like this, that you must support the weak.  And remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.'” -Acts 20:33-35