Giving Till it Hurts
It is a common axiom that the harder you work for something the more you will enjoy it.
I first recognized it in high school when I would come home on a Friday night after playing in a football game and enjoy a tombstone pizza and a rented movie (my wife wishes my tastes were still as simple today). I didn’t want to go to bed those nights because that evening signaled the end of a long week filled by days of school followed by practice followed by homework — and Friday night’s game was the culmination of that week of work.
I think that a corollary might be the harder you work for something the more you will enjoy giving it away.
In her article, Giving Till it Hurts, Sally Beatty attempts to draw the conclusion that there are more and more “stretch-givers”, that is people who are giving more than they can comfortably afford to give. And the reason behind more and more people “giving till it hurts” is that they are recognizing that when they give more than is comfortable they receive more pleasure because they are truly sacrificing something as opposed to when they give from what is left.
I believe that “stretch-giving” happens more than Sally Beatty thinks. I believe that many Christians give to their church as well as to ministries and missions (as well as many other deserving nonprofit organizations that may not be explicitly christian) in ways that may seem like a stretch for them based on the world’s standards. The reality is they are simply following Christ’s commands to give. Whether they feel better because they had to work hard and sacrifice in order to give or they are actually giving till it hurts doesn’t matter — the important thing is that they are being obedient and that people are being helped by the giving.
There is value in obedience and value in good work being funded — that is what people should feel good about.