Almost two weeks ago, I wrote a post on the 10 Day Give that Bob Lotich over at Christianpf.com has sponsored for the last three years. This year, I decided to enter the challenge to give back to others of my time, energy, abilities, and finances over the ten day period.
Reflections On My Experience
Now that the 10 days are behind me, I can make an honest assessment of how my giving challenge went for me. Here's a listing of both positive and negative aspects I found regarding the give:
- The ten days went by really fast! I wish I had more time to do some bigger "gives" in the challenge time frame. Of course, I can still do these things even though the challenge is now complete.
- I did some initial planning, but in the end, I wish I had been more proactive in planning out my giving for all 10 days. I planned ahead in my October 2010 budget to give at least $10/day for the entire 10 days. Then, when I went to the bank on October 1 to withdraw my budget cash, I made sure to withdraw ten, ten-dollar bills for the challenge. I prayed for opportunities to give and a few came along. If I lived in the inner-city, I would have definitely had more spontaneous opportunities, but that's not where I live. I'm in the affluent suburbs. You don't see too many homeless people where I live. Perhaps, I should have made a few spontaneous trips downtown?!
- The give was more difficult than I initially realized. The difficulty I had was certainly not in the giving; that was the easy part! Honestly, I either just forgot about it on certain days, or no opportunities came my way. If I forgot on one day, then I just gave more $10 bills away at the next opportunity! In the end, that was a bigger, better blessing to the person who received it.
- I had fun. Even Jesus Himself said "It is more blessed to give than to receive" (Acts 20:35). I can truly say that I enjoyed the few opportunities in which I was able to give. When you plan to give away money and you have financial margins in your life (i.e. debt-free living) so that you can do it stress-free, giving is a blast!
- I did do some spontaneous giving that I wasn't necessarily planning. I gave extremely generous tips (anywhere between 100-200%) at restaurants where you may not even necessarily leave a tip! I also purchased a book for someone on Amazon.com that I hadn't planned for.
- I used this an opportunity to model generosity for my daughters. As I gave these generous tips at restaurants, I explained to my girls why I was giving the money away. I now understand what God means by being a "hilarious" or "cheerful" giver (2 Corinthians 9:7). My daughters giggled with delight as we left $20 tips at the restaurants.
- I used my giving as a way to promote my church. You know why most waiters and waitresses hate working on Sundays? The church crowd are a bunch of stingy people! It pains me to even write that, but I know it to be true. We should be the best givers on the entire planet! So, when I left these large tips at restaurants, I also placed a little promo card about my church, giving the church's website address and service times. I wanted my servers to know that Christians can be generous people. Who knows, maybe they will visit my church? If they do, I pray that they will see and sense something different about us!
- I should have focused on the time, energy, and abilities aspects of giving. I'm not sure exactly why, but I focused primarily on the financial aspect of giving when I should have also included my time, energy, and abilities into the equation. I know I did do some of this spontaneously, but it wasn't necessarily intentional. Again, it all goes back to being proactive in my overall generosity plan for the 10 days. Live and learn!
So, in conclusion, I definitely need to be more proactive in my planning for next year. I would like to give even more money away (I think I will double the amount) and I need to include giving of my time, energy, and abilities. I also need to look at my network of people (ahead of time) and see who is hurting financially. Then, I need to develop a plan to help meet their needs.
If you want to increase your spirit of generosity, the 10 Day Give is a great place to begin. You could even start today. Try it, you'll like it.
Did you participate in the 10 Day Give? Do you have a story to tell? If so, I'd like to hear about it, just leave me a comment below. Thanks!
Also check out these related posts:
Also check out these related posts:
- The 10 Day Give Starts On Friday
- Profiles in Generosity | Scott and Amy Lee
- Generosity is a fruit of righteous life
- Portrait of a Biblical Giver
- Do you have a generosity plan?