Money is not the root of all evil – being stingy with it is! Learn to share your time, your talents and your wealth. By giving away all 3, you will reap far more in return. I just returned from a quick trip to Chicago and saw so many people begging on the street corners for money.
My cynical side tells me that this is their job. Instead of putting on a suit and tie and going to the office, they put on warm clothes, grab their sign and bucket and head to their office – the street corner.
My empathetic side tells me that times are tough and many people are not as fortunate as myself and those I know. My heart breaks and begs me to do something. But, again, up pops the cynical side that tells me all they are going to do is spend that money on drugs or alcohol. Mrs. Cynical and Mrs. Empathy are always seeming to do battle over this issue. However, this time I have come up with a solution that will keep both of them quiet!
I intend to purchase fast food coupons. When I come across someone begging for money for food, I will give them a coupon for a meal. My heart will be happy because they are not going hungry and my head will be happy because I made a wise financial decision.
That’s money, but what about time? I do believe that today time is a more valuable commodity than money. All of us are cramming 25 hours into a 24 hour day. We want more time with our families instead of more time spent at work. So, it’s a hard decision to give up an hour or two a week and volunteer. But, I’d really like to encourage you to think about that. What would an hour of your time mean to someone standing in line at the homeless shelter or food bank? What would an hour of your time mean to a senior citizen who cannot get out to run their errands themselves? What would an hour of your time mean to a child who is looking for a mentor?
If you have children at home and resent having to take that hour away from the time you spend with them, find a family volunteer opportunity. Pack boxes at the food bank, conduct your own food or clothing drive, shovel your elderly neighbor’s driveway or pick up their grocery list when you’re preparing to go shopping. Just think about the message your children will receive through seeing your volunteer efforts. Just think about the pride they will feel knowing that they helped someone who needed a helping hand.
Anytime I have volunteered, I have received far more than I have ever given. I’ve met new friends, made great business contacts or helped someone who was struggling. I remember when I was that person struggling and I remember those who were willing to give of themselves to help me. For them I will be forever grateful!
If everyone volunteered just one hour a month, I don’t think there would be any unmet needs in our community. God has abundantly blessed our family. Sometimes we forget just how fortunate we are. We are so busy at work and at home and our culture is so focused on acquisition of goods and social standing. We are worried about the brand of clothing we wear. We are worried about living in the “right” neighborhood. We are worried about driving the luxury automobile. In the end, we die – yes, all of us. When that time comes will it matter what type of car we are driving or what logo we have on our shirt? Who will care that we lived in the “right” part of town? However, if we are living right, a lot of people will care because we took the time to reach out and touch their life in a positive way!