For it is in giving that we receive.”
― Francis of Assisi
Now that we have survived Black Friday and Cyber Monday what remains is the challenge to create that Christmas spirit of giving for the other 11 months of the year. A very sure way to ensure that “spirit of generosity” extends throughout the year is to incorporate a monthly charitable contribution in the categories of our prosperity budget.
While searching in my files for a property deed I discovered my first hand written budget I made 50 years ago. Our gross income with both of us working was $650 a month. There were two categories on that budget that have always remained nonnegotiable, savings and charitable contributions. Within a few months that income drastically declined. After our first child was born we decided that my wife would be a stay-at-home mom. We had to make reductions in all categories of our budget but continued to put a small amount in charitable contributions and savings.
There has been a universal principle that has always worked for me, namely “when you create a void something will show to fill the void.” Both tithing and clearing out things in the house that were no longer useful have brought me many surprise gifts.
The most fantastic surprise was receiving a tax return that covered major dental expense that I had not anticipated. Even though our tithing category had excess money I would not use it for our personal expenses.
The same principle works with giving away things we do not use but somehow keep for sentimental reasons or the thought that one day we may need this. I just experienced a very ordinary example of this. Before retirement I had a huge collection of my favorite dress shirts. At that time I wore a freshly laundered shirt dally. I decided to give Habitat 80% of all of these shirts. Within a few weeks I celebrated my birthday and I received several new carefree shirts.
Whenever we give away anything be it a monetary gift, possessions, our time for a worthy cause, or just a bit of kindness to others it always has a boomerang effect. Something always comes back!