In 1 Chronicles 29, David prays a prayer over the new temple in Jerusalem.
In verse 14 he says, “Who am I, and who are my people that we should be able to give like this?”
He was mystified that the creator of everything would deem him and his people worthy of giving anything. He goes on to say, “I have seen with joy how willingly your people who are here have given to you.”
There is an honest joy associated with giving. David understood this and he was experiencing it when he prayed those words.
When we send money oversees, we could be robbing a local community of this joy. Are there exceptions? Sure, but they are few and far between.
A new measurement of success could be: how much are the people you’re serving with giving?
No matter what aspect of international work you are involved with you have to ask yourself a few questions:
- Do the people I serve experience the joy of giving?
- What actions could send the message that their gifts aren’t enough?
- Have we ever discouraged someone from giving (with actions or words)?
- How are we encouraging people we serve to give?
Giving to a bigger cause is almost always a sign of maturity and development. It’s also a command from scripture. Are we being faithful to the full teachings of Christ? He commended the poor widow that gave just two coins. If I had seen that widow, I would have probably tried to convince her that giving away 100% of her money was bad stewardship.
The joy of giving is such an important part of our spirituality. Please make sure you are not robbing anyone, or any community, of this joy.