I pride myself on being a pretty good money manager. I watch my pennies and try to make the most of my dollars. But I’ve noticed something lately (helped out by the writings of C.S. Lewis). When it comes to spending on me and my personal life style I do cut myself an awful lot of slack. When debating whether or not to purchase something – I don’t spend hours on end weighing the pros and cons of that purchase; I pretty much make a quick analysis of the situation and then either buy or not buy – with “buy” being the choice as often as “not buy”.
But when it comes to charitable giving, the story is a bit different. Oh, I think I’m generous; I make it a point to set aside a monthly amount for church and another monthly amount for the various causes and collections that present themselves. But that’s pretty much where my analysis ends. In my reading Mere Christianity, however, I found I’m really not even close to reaching a charitable life style.
Lewis writes in answer to the question of how much should a person give:
“I am afraid the only safe rule is to give more than we can spare. In other words, if our expenditure on comforts, luxuries, amusements, etc. is up to the standard common among those with the same income as our own, we are probably giving away too little. If our charities do not at all pinch or hamper us, I should say they are too small. There ought to be things we should like to do and cannot do because our charitable expenditure excludes them.”
Talk about some food for thought! I think Lewis has presented a banquet here - for both thought and some serious prayer!