With respect to those good souls, you don’t have to be the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in order to live the life of charity God calls us to live. Charity is about love, not money. Give love.
Charity is giving love. Perfect charity is perfect love, given to everyone, everywhere, all the time. Charity is holding the door with a smile for the person behind you, man or woman, young or old. Charity is biting your tongue when it’s about to spew gossip or judgement about a coworker. Charity is doing the best you can for the people around you at every moment, in every circumstance, in small ways most of the time, and in large ways every now and then.
Now before you tear up all of your church’s collection envelopes, realize that sometimes money is all that you have to give, and you definitely should give it. In our modern world, food costs money, medicine costs money, and when someone halfway around the world needs food or medicine, it makes more sense for you to write a check than to charter an airplane and fly over with food and drugs yourself. The natural gas company won’t take a hug and a smile for your church’s heating bill, and unless you want to listen to God’s word while wearing a snowmobile suit, you’d better give your share to the church. Don’t discount the role that money has to play. But don’t think charity begins or ends there.
Real charity is not about how much money you have in the bank and how much of it you write off on your tax statement at the end of the year. Real charity is much more than that. Real charity is about giving everything you have with every breath of your life.
Did it ever occur to you that the four Gospels don’t relate a single time that Jesus gave so much as a small coin to the poor? And yet, is there any doubt that he gave to the people around him and to the billions of us that came later everything? When you can give as unselfishly as he has given, then you’ve made it.