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A Thought About Giving

This is today’s Thought for the Day on Radio Bristol. It’s a big day for giving, but why do we do it?

“Tattoos, tightropes, singing and sponge throwing!

All over Bristol and Bath, thousands of people are gearing up to raise money for Children in Need today. Pudsey Bear is turning extra cartwheels at the very thought. It puts  the fun in fundraising – and gets massive support.

Thousands of people are also giving very generously to the appeals which have been launched to send aid to the people of the Philippines. The islands are far away but many here and indeed in many other countries have been moved and motivated by the heartrending pictures of devastation and need.

Why do we give to help others? There are so many reasons. Compassion, care, a desire to make a difference in some small way, a sense that this is something we CAN do even if we don’t actually work in a children’s centre or can’t physically take aid to the Philippines ourselves.

Giving provides a bigger perspective on the world, that it is not just about me in my little corner and I’m all right thank you. If we only look at what we can get and not what we can contribute, then that is a very limited place to be.

Of course giving is a very personal thing and we all have different reasons why we give and who we give it to. No-one should be forced to give when they don’t want to or actually can’t.

But St Paul once said: “God loves a cheerful giver” and for me that is a good thought. Our giving does nothing when it is grudging or forced; but when it is exuberant, cheerful, intentional and positive then that really does start to make a difference.”




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