Thursday, October 11, 2007

The Poor Among Us

Thinking about Almsgiving.

Not something one talks about much. After all, the right hand does not need to know what the left hand is doing. It should be done in a modest way. (Not modest quantitatively, but modest as in covered up.) So, no specifics.

What is before me: Alms-giving to specific people and their specific needs that I know of, or alms-giving to anonymous type organizations.

What do you all think?

I'm thinking if I have to choose one or the other, the personal trumps the impersonal, even when the personal can be done anonymously so as to preserve the modesty of almsgiving.

What do my blog readers think?


Anonymous said...

If you have to choose one over the other, I agree with your preference for the personal over the impersonal, though both are good (as you indicate). A third party, such as your priest, can "launder funds" for you when you want to give to someone directly but don't want them to know who it's from.

Maria said...

My first thought was one I've been thinking for a while around other matters- that we each have issues/people groups/etc. that weigh on us personally. Whereas I might feel a burden for underprivileged kids, someone else might feel a burden for the homeless, while yet someone else might have a passion for helping addicts, etc. It's beginning to seem quite beautiful to me how God uses our wounds to nurture compassion in our hearts for others, and specific others at times.

Christina said...

we have a wonderful thing in our community called the benevolence fund. it goes to a special account that our priest either uses to give to members of our parish who are or have a specific need or if random people come to the church looking for help he can use that money.

Meg said...

What Maria said. We generally give through organizations, but in areas that have touched our lives personally, like Disabled American Veterans or Police and Firemen's charities. The other good way to give is through IOCC, International Orthodox Christian Charities -- through matching grants, every dollar you give is multiplied *ten times* over, so a $25 contribution comes out to $250. At least. I'm told it's now over ten times as much, but I'm not sure by how much.

Michelle said...

I think either way, giving is the right way. If you know a very specific need of someone that is not known to others, I would say go with that-- anonymously if possible.

Kimberly said...

I do think God was serious about not letting the right hand know what the left hand is doing. Pride is our greatest temptation ( or one of them ). If you are talking about giving to a missionary by name rather than an organization, I would think it would bring more "satisfaction" knowing that you are helping someone you know.

However, knowing that tithes were going to help build water wells seems so far reaching and necessary for life.

It comes down to what is God speaking to you about.