What to do when Guilted into Giving

It’s said there are two things none of us can escape: Death and Taxes.

I’d like to add to that list: Solicitors.

I won’t ask for a show of hands, but how many of you have at some time felt guilted into giving? I know I have. More times than I can count.

Soliciting funds for just about anything and everything has become a national pastime.

My guilted into giving response began to change when I had one of my Skinny Pig aha! moments. It had less to do with the fact that I only have so much available moolah to donate, and more to do with actually choosing where to contribute that only so much available moolah.

A blessed by-product is that I find more enjoyment in meeting needs as the Lord prompts than I ever did when guilted into giving. If I had a dollar for every time I’ve been told to ‘give generously’, I’d be, well…you know.

Did you also know that you can ‘give grumblingly?’

“Giving grows out of the heart—otherwise, you’ve reluctantly grumbled “yes” because
you felt you had to or because you couldn’t say “no,” but this isn’t the way God wants it.
For we know that “God loves a cheerful giver.”
II Corinthians 9:7 The Voice

If you suspect, as I did, there is a better way than being guilted into giving, let me share a few things I concluded. Perhaps they’ll help you too.

  • Assuming that you like and want to give, guess what? God likes that you like and want to give. Asking Him where He would like you to want to give is a good place to start. Listen to Him. He may just ask you back, ‘where would you like to give?’ You mean I get to choose? Uh-huh.
  • Is there a particular agency that is doing good work AND is something that you actually relate to in your life or family? One personal example is a small annual donation to the Disabled Veterans of America because I have a disabled veteran brother-in-law. I think of him each time I write the check, stamp, and seal the envelope. (Right on cue, when I got home from work after writing this paragraph earlier in the day, guess what was in my mailbox?? God knows and sees, friends!)
  • The same goes for ministries, non-profits, faith-based organizations, and social causes. This is where we could either go broke or become that ‘give generously’ millionaire, because there are far more of them than ‘me and my money’. Guess what? Yes! We get to choose where to give, including how much.
  • Marketing is based in part on cold, hard stats and part on playing heartstrings like a violin. How many of us have written a check out of guilt because after all, they sent me a calendar, a personalized pen, five real postage stamps, a magnetized shopping list, and my favorite: two thousand Christmas return address labels for the oh, about 20 Christmas cards I mail each year.

Note: I haven’t quite gotten beyond cringing over the waste of marketing dollars as I toss their plea in the recycle bin (while I keep the pen, stamps, notepads, calendar…minus a ton of address labels). We live in a wasteful country and economy. Trying to get off of mailing lists is like trying to keep up with the laundry in a household bigger than two. Lists or laundry, it seems to keep multiplying. Are there multiplied verifiable needs and causes out there? Of course. So this is where it serves us well to refer back to the first three bullet points in this post.

  • Some people really like money; their money and your money. Sometimes there is a conviction that they can do nothing without your money. That belief is, in part, why I write about the Skinny Pig mindset and mind renewal: God don’t raise no skinny pigs! He owns the cattle on a thousand hills and when He needs to slaughter one for you to do what He’s asked you to do, He can and He will. While He may use others’ cheerfully giving hearts to be a part of that supply, do not sell Him short by turning into a solicitor yourself. Is this a trust issue? You better believe it.
  • Is it wrong to make a need known? Certainly not. However, if we as believers receive a different response than what we were looking for, it’s important to trot right back and ask our Father why? The answer can run the gamut from improper motivation, to testing our faith, to walking in obedience to a word God has already given us, to showing us another facet of our Father’s ability to care and provide for His own, to … you can add to the list as well.
  • Guilted into giving may provide temporary solutions, but the need beneath the pleas is often deeper than what money can ‘heal’. It is one’s heart our Father looks upon. He knows the needs we are wired to meet, which can change from time to time as life is lived out.

We may feel overwhelmed at the enormity of the needs as we see them, but let us not forget that our Father has all the resources we, and everyone else, needs. He knows how to work in the heart of each one to spread His provision where it’s needed most.

One key to being a cheerful giver is listening to God’s Spirit confirming in our own heart where to give. Cheerful giving brings joy in return, not a sense of grudging or compliant duty.

May we find that our decision to be cheerful givers makes us solicitors of joy, rather than one of the three things none of us can escape!

And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:19 NIV84

~ Nancy

Photo by Ramiro Mendes on Unsplash

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  1. Thanks, Nanc, for this post. Very apropos for this time of year. I’m still struggling with the solicitors, but am able to say NO more firmly these days. And I find that it IS a joy to give when God moves my heart. Bless you for the confirmation.

    • It’s a real issue, isn’t it? We can and do learn and that’s good. Wrote out my check to Disabled Veterans of America this evening 🙂 Thank you for affirming the confirmation you received. hugs, Nanc

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