The way people relate to wealth influences most aspects of their personal lives. For many people, where there is wealth there is attention.
If you became wealthy overnight…
• What will the first thing you would do?
• Is charity one of your primary focuses?
• How much more charity will you give? … and what is your proof?
Biblical text encourages each person to give in proportion to the way God has blessed them [Deuteronomy 16:17] Many believe that the more they have, the more generous they’ll become; but is that really the case. To become more generous, you have to have a spirit of generosity in the first place.
It’s Not really about the Money, It’s actually about the Heart.
Real generosity is not dependant so much on income as it is on the capacity of the heart. There are many who have the means to give, but not the heart to give. And there are many, who, the more they have the less they give. Henry Ward Beecher warned; “watch, lest prosperity destroy generosity”.
Father, Unlike Son
In the 1950s J.P. Getty was the richest man in world. He is known to have disliked the attention his wealth brought, but not because of his humility but because of people’s request for donations, he “despised passive acceptance of money”; had a pay-phone installed in his house for guests; delayed ransom for his grandson’s kidnapping for 6 months and only paid a fraction of the ransom after his grandson’s ear was cut off and sent to him.
J.P. Getty Jr. inherited relatively a small part of his father’s estate yet gave millions in charity saying, “I am privileged to be the heir to huge wealth and I regard myself as custodian of that money for the benefit of people who need it more than I do.”
Even when you do give of your material wealth, do not give merely from the top of your wallet, but rather give from the bottom of your heart. Also, it is not material help only. Whatever one can do to enhance the situation of others is considered generosity. Prophet Muhammad said; “There is charity due on every part of the body every day.” He went on to say: ” to bring justice between people is charity, to help a person with transport and helping with baggage is charity, a good, kind word is charity, every step towards prayer is charity, removing harmful things from the way is charity and giving water to the thirsty is charity. A person’s true wealth lies in the good they accrue for the Hereafter through good deeds in this world. When a person dies people say ‘what has he left behind?’ while angels say ‘what has he sent forth?’ ”
To give of your self is the best kind of giving. Prophet Muhammad said: “When you give of yourself then you truly are a Believer”.
The great Lebanese poet and writer Khalil Gibran echoed the same sentiments when he said: “You give but little when you give of your possessions. It is when you give of yourself that you truly give.”