Last week we spent time with two Haitian families who lost their home in the earthquake. Both families are grateful to be alive. Yet, their lives are no longer the same…they’ve lost everything!
As of late, I’ve heard people discuss donor fatigue when it comes to Haiti or giving in general. I get it. Giving and being generous is a struggle. No doubt there are so many needs, and yes it can be so overwhelming. Nobody said being missional would be easy!
Why do we get tired of giving? We don’t seem to get tired of entertaining ourselves, we don’t get tired of taking trips, we don’t get tired of buying music, or buying iPhone apps or homes. Churches don’t seem to get tired of launching new building campaigns. Pastors don’t seem to get tired of spending thousands of dollars attending conferences…these things excite us to no end…they never tire. Why? Let’s be honest, we are addicted to ourselves, our narcissism is deep, we thrive on our own personal delight. I know I do. And truthfully, all the above mentioned things can be good if done with a sense of balance, purpose and mission.
The point here is not guilt, but to recalibrate this sense of “donor fatigue” and how it relates to the Gospel. I believe donor fatigue is dangerous and evil. I don’t think the Gospel gives us room to get tired of giving and being generous. Here’s what I think, most people who experience donor fatigue are simply frustrated that if they give, then they will have to sacrifice something they want. We all have idols, most of us are not willing to admit it. “If I give again,” then I won’t be able to get something “I” want.
Pick up your cross…and follow the way that is hard.
I think it’s impossible to have donor fatigue when you meet a family that has literally lost everything, yet they continue to move forward with a sense of joy and hope! Like the girl in this picture, she’s lost so much in the earthquake. She had little before the earthquake and now she has nothing (material), but a tent and some clothes. Can we really get tired of giving? Can we really give to much?
Photo Credit: Daniel Davis
For me, it’s the weight of responsibility. I have to help these families. Not because I’m called to, or because I feel guilty….Actually, I want to help. It’s an honor for me to sacrifice my time, talents, finances…I want my generosity to rise to the top, and I want my desires and idols to be hidden in God’s grace.
My prayer is, that my biggest love in life would be giving. When I give I find joy. I don’t want to live for the temporary things of this world, I want to live for the things that really count in life. I want every activity to have a sense of purpose, every action to have a sense of renewal, every decision to be connected to a greater story of love and community!
So please don’t tell me your tired of giving… I don’t buy it…the best thing we can do is give until it hurts. Sure, you may have to sacrifice some things, yes that will be difficult, but I believe it’s the best thing we can do.