The Problem of Giving

It was early afternoon on a college campus in the Western United States. Bright, sunny, and warm. I walked to the chain fast food sandwich shop on campus. I was in a good mood, generally, becauae I have no reason not to be and am at least smart enough it. I found out the day that I got an 82 on my management accounting midterm, which is a good outcome considering that I forgot my caluculator (who forgets their calculator when they know they’re about to take an accounting test?)

Anyway, I meet a man from Feed the Children while going there. I always end up listening to spiels from nonprofit volunteers. Do I seem like a giving person? Some kind of sucker? Of course, I’m kidding about the last part, hopefully.

The thing is, I actually would like to help children who need food. I believe that God calls us to provide for the basic needs of others. Because if they can’t even survive, how can they ever come to know Christ? But it just so happens that I have heard of scandal in the Feed the Children organization, it was a couple years ago and I think they’re doing better now, but that kind of thing does make you wary.

I would like to give, and I know that it’s right to give, but I always wonder how! I don’t want to give to the wrong people and have the money be wasted. I don’t think it’s something to be paranoid about, it just means that you must be vigilant. Also, I think it’s important to actually help people, beyond just having good intentions and taking some kind of action. The situation in Africa is a good example. A lot of people say that all the humanitarian aid that has been provided over the years has not reduced poverty.  I think I will be reading a book soon on this subject, called “Dead Aid.”

Well, I’ll be posting more on this topic in the time to come. But for now, God bless! Try not to do anything too crazy this Halloween!

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A Struggling Servant

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I believe in serving God, and others in the process. Isn’t that the whole point of the Bible? In the Old Testament, kings and judges served God and their people. In the New Testament, we are exhorted again and again to serve the hungry and the needy ceaselessly. After all, Jesus himself didn’t sit at meat, he SERVED IT UP and himself, in the most literal way possible. He set a pretty good example.

And then there’s me.

I just don’t understand it. When I try to serve, things always get in the way. Transportation, scheduling, wrong intentions, discouragement from people in my life, logistics… the list goes on and on. I hate to make excuses, and I hate to believe in something that I hardly do. That means that I don’t even believe it.

But why can’t I just go out there and serve? I think it’s so necessary, so important, and yet, and yet…

I just finished emailing a bunch of student organizations for service. But the fact that none of them are religious makes me uneasy. I don’t want to serve a vain and secular cause. But as long as the organization is helping people in need, isn’t that worthwhile for me to do, even if the people around me are serving for a different reason? What do you think, is service pointless without God? Ultimately, I know the answer is yes, but can’t service be a vehicle to higher understanding? And can’t I try to impart some kind of spiritual nugget, convey an essence of God by the way I complete a certain task that will make it worthwhile?

I’m probably just over thinking it. I should just do something. Well, tomorrow, God willing, I’ll be participating in something called a “campus EV” with this Christian organization. I’m banking on EV standing for evangelism. If you have a minute, you can pray that it is successful!

youngleaders.nssga.org (photo)