It is no secret that God wants us to give freely to others…so what’s the excuse? Think about that. The God of the universe, your creator, wants you to give some of what you have in charity. More than that, he has promised you an eternal reward for doing so (see Matthew 19:21). Most of us don’t bother.
I’ll ask again: what’s the excuse?
For the longest time I thought that giving was something which adults did. The collection basket would be handed to me at church, and I would just hand it off to my parents. They had jobs and (it seemed to me at the time) plenty of money! I figured kids weren’t called to give what they had to the church or the poor because they had so little of it.
Though I think it might be nice even for children to give from what they have, I’m not going to harp on that too much. What I will make a big deal about is teenagers and college students continuing to give absolutely nothing. It took me a long time to realize I was just habitually keeping everything I had (which is a good reason to teach children to give early on). It wasn’t just the collection basket at mass either. I kept everything I earned. Of course I did people favors and bought them gifts every now and then, but I had no habit of doing so. People ought to regularly give to a charity or anonymously to struggling friends and acquaintances. Any arguments against this practice fail to hold up to scrutiny.
If you’re poor, you can give just a little bit. Even if you can only afford to give one dollar, God will notice. He will do big things with that dollar, and he will transform your soul through your act of charity. If you doubt me, refresh yourself on Mark 12:41-44.
There are an endless number of ways to give, and deciding exactly how you want to do it can be quite fun. It is especially gratifying if you give anonymously to someone you see frequently. You will get to see their improvement, their joy, and the good change that you’ve helped bring about. It doesn’t matter if you are in college, working part time, or making more money than you know how to spend. We are all called to, as St. Teresa of Calcutta put it, “give until it hurts.” Stretch yourself, challenge yourself, and scare yourself for the sake of love. It’s not irresponsible; it’s Christianity.
“Look at the birds in the sky; they do not sow or reap, they gather nothing into barns, yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are not you more important than they?” (Matthew 6:26).