Why I Don’t Give to Charity Anymore

Okay, okay… it’s not that I don’t give to charities anymore, it’s just that I am getting slightly overwhelmed with the amount of options now! Halloween is over and boom… the holiday blitz kicks in, and my mailbox is full of charitable gift giving catalogues urging me to give great aunt Lucy a dozen chickens! Forget great aunt Lucy… I want a dozen chickens! (But that’s a different story.)

We attended three charity events last week. Three. We also turned down two more invitations for the same week! Is it just me, or does everybody seem to be raising money for something now? And believe me, we are not being targeted because of our large paycheques. In fact, I work for a charity… so I can give a portion of my paycheck away right from the start! My local cashier has been trained to bequest my donation upon every check out… and my name gets written on the wall for all to see. Sometimes you get more than a token name calling… perhaps you get a free water bottle, or balloon, or keychain or… well, you get my point.

And so I muse… how do we choose? How do I know that my hard earned funds are going to really help people, or the environment, or fight injustices? Do I use my givings simply as a tax break, or an excuse to be greener, or flaunt it in my social media calendar invites to prove I am just so loving? Have we become too accepting of donations that we simply don’t give till it hurts anymore? Or have the bombardments made us callous, so that we are wary of scams and frauds. Or we simply don’t give anymore for fear of having our mailboxes overloaded with letters. Afterall, if they used that mailing budget to fund the charity, more money could be used to help rather than advertise… am I right?

How do you choose your Charity?

My usual quick google search of “charity” leads me to see that it is the “voluntary giving of help, typically in the form of money, to those in need” (Oxford dictionary). Biblical research sends me to 1 Corinthians 13…The “love” chapter. We tend to equate charity with love… especially love towards our fellow humans as a result of our understanding of God’s love and ultimate sacrifice for us on the cross. I get it. But that doesn’t really make it easier to decipher who, why and when and how. Or does it?

Have you ever met someone who exudes Christ’s love? That aura, that persona, that embodiment that just oozes kindness and sincere “charity”? Not because they need to. Not because they have to. Not because they got a catalogue in the mail. They just naturally love the cause, and want to see it flourish and grow. I think that is an example of true charity. Passion. What stirs your heart, my friend? I’m asking myself the same question right now. Hmmmn.

Perhaps I will have to rethink my Christmas gift giving. Perhaps I will need to be more frugal with my wishes. My lines are not drawn on this one quite yet. How do I choose? I’d love to hear your thoughts… drop me a note in the comments below or connect with us on social media!


I’ve mused about this topic before! Check out these posts: Charity on the Refrigerator The Green Debate and Legacies

The Blessing of Thankfulness

Happy Canadian Thanksgiving!! For those of us who are turkey overloaded and too stuffed to work, I thought I would “repost” one of our 30 Days of Blessings emails from last year! It is always a great idea to say thank you, so let’s do it again!

(For those of you who are new to the mittonmusings adventure, we ran a fun 30 days of emails last year, prompting us to a new “blessing” each day! Should we do it again?! Should we try another one?! Wanna get in on the action?! Subscribe to mittonmusings and get a weekly blog post straight to your inbox — and special invitations to campaigns and studies just like this one! Join the adventure here! )

Oh give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever! Say also: ‘Save us, O God of our salvation, and gather and deliver us from among the nations, that we may give thanks to your holy name and glory in your praise.”  1 Chronicles 16:34-35 (ESV)

 Remember that list of Blessings we made back on Day 2?  Time to pull it out and send some thank you’s to the people on it.  Often we are truly thankful for our friends and family… but we don’t show it in tangible ways.  Send a card (or flowers?) to a person to simply say “thank you” for the influence they are having in your life.  Maybe take them out for dinner.  The how is up to you… but be sure to include the reason why: to say thanks!  This is also a good way to be an example for our children.  Remind them to be thankful as well, by showing them how!

This is also the perfect opportunity to spend some time saying thanks to God for all your blessings.  He is called Jehovah-jireh in Hebrew:  the one who provides.  Spend a few minutes giving Him thanks today.  

  • Challenge yourself to think of obscure or difficult people to be thankful for… like government leaders or your boss, or that person on your “hard to love” list
  • Write some old fashion thank you cards and actually put them in the mail with a stamp!
  • Share ideas with family and friends… get the kids involved or post your thanks on the group chat so everyone can see
  • If you are joining us in October, send a special thank you to your church leader for #pastorappreciationmonth
  • Can you think of another fun and fabulous way to thank someone?
  • Remember to take a few special minutes to thank your Heavenly provider as well

“Now may the LORD show steadfast love and faithfulness to you. And I will do good to you because you have done this thing.” 2 Samuel 2:6 (ESV)

The Next Step

Do you have a fitbit? One of those little devices that count how many steps you’ve taken and what you need to make your optimal steps for the day? Or how much you’ve slept and ate and who you should marry? I don’t have one. We did have a “pre-fitbit” step counter once… I think we got it out of a cereal box. You clipped it to your pant leg and you could trick it into adding steps by swinging your leg or frantically waving your arms. It obviously didn’t fulfill its purpose very well.

Funny how we focus on “steps”. Moving forward, moving back, constantly checking where you are and where you should be going. Now, I am a girl who likes to plan. I like to check off my steps and put the x in the boxes. I follow the list and love instructions with bullet points and numbers. I follow the steps. But what if you come to the fork in the road? The edge of the cliff, and you are unsure of your next step? What happens then?

Perhaps it is a big decision. Perhaps a life goal. Perhaps a next stage in life. How do you feel when you are tip-toe with that edge and your next step will determine whether you soar or fall off the cliff? What happens then? The fitbit doesn’t tell you what to do with your steps, it just shows you how many you have taken. You have to set the goal.

We studied John the Baptist at church this week, and I couldn’t help but compare his ministry to a few people I follow on social media. There were “big announcements” posted and “new projects” to be taken on, and I noticed that life seems to be timeless when it comes to the edge-of-the-cliff decisions. Everyone eventually comes to that point where you have to take the next step. Sometimes you celebrate it, sometimes you mourn it, and sometimes it just quietly moves forward.

If you are diligent, you make informed decisions… you pray, study, ask the experts, debate, consult, read… and then? John chose to end his career of “preparing the way” because the Messiah had showed up! He worked himself out of his job. Some people set the stage ahead of time and contract themselves into a plan or timeframe. Then the time ends and you stop. Some of you are vision castors — entrepreneurial types who love the prospect of something new — and your life just becomes an ebb and flow of projects and plans. Some of us peddle backwards, afraid of the unknown and where the path may lead.

I’m learning to be patient. To plant my steps purposefully. But the journey is hard and the path rocky. My footing is not always secure and I seek answers. What now? Which way? Should I wait here while others catch up, or plunge ahead and take the risk of not knowing the path? A wise person once told me: Just take the next step.