I know the end of the year is still several months away, but I'm already dreading it because every December we get a flood of mail from organizations asking for money. We want to be generous, but we can't support all of them. How should we decide?
I’m thankful you want your gifts to be used wisely—and I can assure you that God wants them to be used wisely also. After all, God’s work requires finances; even Jesus’ little band of disciples was supported by the gifts of others (see Luke 8:1-3).
How can you decide where to give? Let me make three suggestions. First, ask God to guide you. Everything we have came from Him, and He wants to help us use it for His glory. If you aren’t familiar with an organization, seek advice about it from others (such as your pastor or church treasurer). Study an organization’s literature also, including its financial reports.
Then prayerfully set some priorities—that is, decide in general terms how you want your money to be used. You may have a special interest in ministries that serve your community, for example—but don’t overlook the needs of those who work in other parts of the world. Don’t forget your church’s needs at year’s end also. You can’t do everything, nor does God expect you to. Trust Him to raise up others to support groups you can’t.
Finally, as you give during the coming months, don’t forget the greatest gift of all—the gift of God’s Son for our salvation. Commit your life to Him, and let Him be your example. “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich” (2 Corinthians 8:9).