Jesus told us to “not store up for ourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal” (Matt. 6:19). But how are we to do this practically? What if we simply don’t have much money to do this with?
Christians are called to tithe, or give an offering to church. But beyond that, there is so much need in the world. Some people choose voluntary poverty, which is also a way that Christians have served the poor, down through the ages.
In digging deeper into our Judeo-Christian heritage, I am fascinated by the concept of Tzedakah. Essentially, Jews recognize the need for charity and often give 10 per cent of their incomes to help support the destitute. Also, according to Levitical law, the Israelites were not to glean all of their harvest, and foreigners (the alien) were to be welcomed with open arms. Indeed, some of the most generous philanthropists have been and are Jewish people. Nevertheless, God judges a person’s heart, and even the poor can be generous to others.
When a Christians feels that may not have enough funds to help the poor, there is so much that can be done in the way of volunteering. And not just with the poor or the marginalized. There are so many ways to give back to society.
A good example is volunteering with Scouts. The Scouting program is a positive influence on a young man or woman’s life, where basic skills in social interaction, personal and group achievement, outdoor competencies are developed. This way, through your service, you foster the leaders of tomorrow.