The pastor at church this morning asked us if we were “giving to others until it hurts”. He pointed out that it’s easy for us a give a few dollars here and there, because at the end of the day, those donations don’t force us to make real sacrifices in how we spend the rest of our money. His point is valid – if we are only giving what we can easily do without, then what’s the real virtue in that?
But I think that “giving until it hurts” is just half the picture. We should also ask ourselves: are we giving until it feels good – to the point where we know we’re making a real difference? The blessing in disguise about giving is that it can benefit the giver just as much as the recipient (and sometimes even more so). But if we only give up something small, then we shortchange ourselves and only get something small in return. So as you prepare for 2011, ask yourself if you are giving enough to “feel good” about the difference you’re making in the lives of others.