Give a little. Get a lot.

People seem fond of misquoting St. Paul in saying, “Money is the root of all evil.”

He didn’t say that.

In fact, nowhere does the Bible say that.

What St. Paul wrote (1 Timothy 6:10) is, “The love of money is a root of all kinds of evil.”

It’s too easy to blame “money” for the world’s ills, when in actuality, “sin” should shoulder that accusation.

Money itself isn’t evil.

Look how many things wouldn’t be possible, were it not for money:

  • Charitable foundations that pour countless dollars into various diseases (cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and more) in hopes of a cure.
  • Scholarships for students wishing to further their education and improve their lot in life.
  • School buildings to educate the young.
  • Hospitals to heal the sick.
  • Nursing homes to tend the elderly and infirm.
  • Organizations to provide for the needs of military veterans.
  • Groups who work to house the needy.
  • Roads to make it easier to go from one place to another.
  • Prisons to confine those who are dangerous to society (and hopefully, rehabilitate them).
  • Wireless towers to help us communicate with others.
  • And the list goes on.

Where we get into trouble, St. Paul implies, is when we love money above all else. That’s God’s position, and when we elevate anything above Him (whether it be ourselves, our spouses, our kids, our jobs, anything), we’re treading on thin ice.

The love of money causes us to hoard (have you seen that TV show about hoarders? Hilarious, but sad.).

The love of money causes us to fear that we won’t have enough.

The love of money causes us to doubt in the Goodness and Providence of our Creator.

I have found that tithing a portion of my income back to charity — as soon as it comes in — blesses me a hundred times more than holding onto that money would.

More, probably, than what little I donate does for those receiving my funds.

Still, it’s a start.

I won’t kid you — tithing can be a scary thing, the first or every time you do it.

I liken it to jumping off a cliff and hoping a tree or something will be there to stop your free-fall!

But we’re called to trust God and love people, and tithing forces us to do that.

Besides, it just feels GOOD!

Getting My Irish Up

This is a copy of the e-mail I sent this afternoon to one of the myriad organizations whose list I’m on to solicit for funds.

As you can see, it really “got my Irish up” when it arrived. Good thing today is “Grouch Day,” ha!

*****

Dear Sirs:

Once again, I have received in the mail a package from you requesting a donation. This time, it was marked “Second Notice.” What’s that all about, I ask???

“Second Notice” sounds to me as if you’re a bill collector, and I’m a deadbeat. I am not.

“Second Notice” implies that you’ve tried before and failed. That tells me you’re doing the same thing — sending out multiple notices in hopes of guilting people to give — and that’s a waste of everybody’s time and somebody’s resources.

“Second Notice” has a coercion feeling to it, as if I’m expected to donate. I am not.

I’m self-employed. Thus, I don’t have a wealth of surplus money lying around for me to dole out willy-nilly. I work hard for my money and am frankly tired of all you organizations trying desperately to cut me out of the picture and grab some for yourselves.

Yes, I donate to charity, plenty of charities. But I’ll do that on my schedule, not yours, thank you very much.

I’ve had it up to here with your organization and regardless of how much I donate, yours won’t be on my list. You might as well STOP sending me stuff and save your efforts for somebody else.

Sincerely,

(my name)

********

Will it help? Will it stop the onslaught of “dunning” notices I receive?

I doubt it. But if I can make a dent in the stack, or remove a few from the list, I’ll be happy.

Most of us receive far too much junk mail, whether it’s in our home postal box or via e-mail. We complain about it, throw it into the trash, and move on to something else.

Today I decided I’d had enough. I don’t begrudge an organization for trying to solicit funds. Many times, that’s how they keep afloat. But forcing people to give isn’t charity.

It’s coercion. And that’s against the law.

What do you think?