I am often struck by the generosity of my Second Family.
I do not believe one can settle how much we ought to give. I am afraid the only safe rule is to give more than we can spare. In other words, if our expenditure on comforts, luxuries, amusement, etc., is up to the standard common among those with the same income as our own, we are probably giving away too little. If our giving does not at all pinch or hamper us, I should say it is too small. There ought to be things we should like to do and cannot because our commitment to giving excludes them.
Jack, in Mere Christianity
Tonight, Second Sister – who lives in one of the most expensive sections of the world that I have ever seen and pays almost quadruple my rent – dumbfounded me again as she put out great sums to bless me and others, and not for the first time this month. Sure, she does pretty well at work and is pretty thrifty in her everyday life, but when she determines to bless someone, she doesn’t hold back. And I have never, in my time of living with her or simply knowing her, seen her regret it for an instant.
Now, I love to give gifts and cover meals and contribute to projects and needs. However, my radar for what a generous donation entails is much more confined than hers. I’m a budgeter, a planner, and a financial analyst in every way, and I make great timelines in paying off debt and saving for emergencies or my next trip overseas to visit family.
I don’t think either is wrong. I don’t think she is in any manner of speaking a “spendthrift,” nor would I consider myself stingy (usually).
However, there are other things – endless, constantly-replenished things – which we cannot ration. These things may often feel like things we need to reserve and guard, but in reality, they grow and grow the more we share.
Love. Joy. Kindness. Goodness. Hope. Gratitude.
It’s not always easy and is very often scary to share these things with absolutely everyone when they seem to be in short supply. But I challenge you –
Let go, and be rich.