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The dynamics
of giving
A
s Christians, when we look at our giving, here’s an analogy that might help you understand
a little more about the dynamics of giving.
Firstly, I want you to look at your giving as how you look after your garden. I am a gardener and wherever I have lived, and
I have had big and small gardens over the years - I have taken a great deal of time and effort in designing - planning
and implementing the development of the garden. This involves thinking about how a certain tree will look in fi ve to ten
years, also deciding which plants will be taller and which time of year certain plants will be in bloom. I am thinking and
planning ahead in all I do aiming for the garden I want in years to come.
However, many people who garden just respond to what the garden does or demands from them. For example, they will
mow the lawn only when they are prompted to or when the grass gets too high. They will not prune or shape existing trees
unless they are desperate and would never think of planning a tree for long term shade. They basically do the absolute
minimum that is required to keep the garden under control but it’s pretty aimless, not co-ordinated and they do not work
towards any pre-determined plan.
The same analogy applies to how you give. Are you someone who gives when prompted to or gives just enough to get by
this week or are you someone who plans and works on their giving with some future strategy in mind? We need to be a
people who make the commitment to be gardeners and not to simply be people who ‘garden’.
We need to take a long term view about our fi nances. We need to be committed to devise a strategy that will increase our
ability to give and also to move our giving from a series of unrelated actions to a process that is predetermined, planned
and well thought through. By doing this we will be able to plan better and enjoy the fruit of our giving as we see it grow
over the years. There can be few better feelings than looking at a garden that you have lovingly worked on, designed,
planted and looked after for years that looks great. That is what we need to aim for in our fi nancial planning and giving.
Let’s be a people who at the end of our lives look back and see great fruit from our planned giving.
John Kirby Christians Against Poverty - www.capuk.org
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