To give, or not to give?

Hello people! It’s great to be putting up my first post here (that is after the welcome post ☺), about an issue that even I sometimes find contentious.

While growing up, we were told about how giving was very important, especially giving to those who are not as blessed as we are. Our parents told us that it is good to share our toys, clothes and shoes we don’t need anymore, we were told by our Sunday school teachers to give to the less privileged. As adults we hear on the pulpits of our churches and I reckon those of other faiths also hear the same from their leaders, the importance of giving and giving cheerfully. I have known this verse of the bible for as long as I can remember: Luke 6:38, “Give and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over shall men give into your bosom.”

My husband loves to give, and sometimes to those who I think do not deserve it, he believes that life is all about giving and he probably can give his last kobo to a stranger who comes to him with one problem or the other, whether genuine or not. I on the other hand, I am a more cautious giver for two reasons: not every one genuinely has a need as they may just want to take advantage of your goodwill and would keep coming for more, thereby turning you into a cash cow. Also, for some people, the moment you don’t have any to give them, you become the worst person on earth for not giving, as all records of your previous acts of giving to them become wiped off their minds and you become a bad person. They forget that you may not have any to give on that day or you have other pressing issues to deal with. This has happened to me times without number, where someone I have been giving to for months refuses to even say hi, after I said I could not help them on a particular occasion when they asked. However this has not deterred me from giving when I have and I see a genuine need.

What about those who believe that nothing goes for nothing? People who think for the smallest favour they do for you, they deserve one form of gratification or another? Some expect payment for assisting you to pull out of a parking lot in your car, or showing you where to park your car. Some for giving directions to a place, or security guards who would greet you specially or open the door of your car for you or wash your car just because they want you to give them some cash for that special greeting or unrequested job they did for you? For example, yesterday, when I got back from work, one of the security guards in my estate while greeting me actually saluted and stomped his right leg on the ground like he was a soldier! I had to ask him if he thought I was in the army or if he was in the army. Then he said “madam na because things really hard for me today and I need your help, that’s why I greet you like this oh”. Then I responded “ Wow, so if you didn’t have need for my help, you wont have greeted me with so much enthusiasm, huh?”. Then he said “no, madam I dey always greet you na”. I just shook my head, told him I would see him later and went into my house. I did not want to wait to hear his story, because I may not be able to solve his problem. Its funny because this guy sometimes sees me and just turns his face to the other side, so I was really amused at his rather enthusiastic greeting which, he confessed was because he wanted my help.

Then there is another type of giving which to an extent should have some form of accountability attached to it, which is giving to a cause; either to an orphanage, or to a particular charity that deals with a particular issue that is dear to you or even giving to prisoners. I see a lot of celebrities whose pictures are splashed on the media and the Internet, giving to one charitable cause or the other. The morality of publicizing our giving is a topic for another day, because what happens to the biblical saying that we should not let our left hand know what the right hand is doing? Unfortunately, sometimes these gifts do not get to the poor people that they are meant for, neither are they accounted for. I was told about a group of youth who went to give some food items and provisions to an orphanage, they dropped these items with the proprietor of the orphanage and left. As fate would have it, they forgot something and had to go back to the orphanage a few minutes later. Lo and behold, when they got there, they saw the proprietor and other staff of the orphanage sharing the food items and provisions amongst themselves! The worst part was that they saw nothing wrong with what they were doing and told the youth that if they were not pleased, they should take their gifts back.

So readers I would like to know your thoughts about giving: what prompts you to give? Do you give to everyone who asks you or you are cautious when it comes to giving or you are one of those who do not believe in giving at all, or you wait until you have that excess amount of money before you give? . I am sure this applies to everyone no matter your financial status; I would like to know your stories of giving or not giving 😀 .

Have blessed day!

Author: Tosne

I'm a human rights lawyer and I love writing my thoughts down because it allows me to express myself in a permanent form. I like to see women succeed and empowered in all aspects of their endeavors. I'm a super mom blessed with wonderful kids!

6 thoughts on “To give, or not to give?”

  1. Hello Tosne,
    Great job by the way.. didn’t know you had a blog thingy going on. keep it up! Giving to me is what I believe should be done by freewill of course but with all the scary stories out there nowadays. hmmm..you really don’t know who to help sometimes. As for me, I just bless the stuff (money, gift, help what ever form of giving) and just leave the rest to God to deal with. I can not come and go and die jare #wink#

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  2. Well i believe we should give as often as we can , if we have the means to.
    The bible says we should sow seeds everywhere as we do not know the one that will bring a blessing… yes there are blessings that come with giving and they should come to us as a surprise, what i mean is ,don’t give because you are expecting a return or a reward. give and forget about it, don’t be watching to see if the person will come back to say thank you, or over respecting you or showing you special favours or something.Sometimes giving brings a special goodwill to us,if it does feel free to enjoy it.

    But i believe we should not give to our detriment, if you want to use something and someone asks you for it and you don’t have the means or the time to get another one, you don’t have to give and later feel bad for giving. Take care of your needs.

    Most people feel giving has to be financial, but it does not. You can give your time, your smile…

    Many people abuse giving, manipulate the giver e.t c. like Rev. Fr. Ehusani said “give and forget about it”…if you can, never stop giving just thinking about it puts a smile on your face.

    Give when your heart is moved to give and you can. YOU CAN NEVER GO WRONG GIVING.

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  3. The ability to give is a gift from God otherwise why will some one very rich find it difficult to give? or is it because the world is ” mean”. It is a gift because God and God alone can after blessing one, also touch the heart to give . If you are blessed with a gift of giving, you give without expecting some one to say thank you, you can also give at your own detriment. Again I think we should all learn to give because it pays more to give than to receive and also the bible says we should give.

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  4. My mantra is “if you don’t give then you can’t receive” the topic makes me remember what my mantra or theme for this year should be….be more of a blessing to others than I possible can fathom” meaning that security man at the mall, at the car park, at the bank, at the salon, at the supermarket,etc. show an act of kindness and give them the occasional N100 or more.

    You are right though it’s infuriating when people automatically think they are entitled to your gifts just because they see you in a nice car….you have people who come to you with a sob story about their house rent, school fees for their kids and what not….i also have my issues and its issues that millions only can solve and the same way they have their issues that thousands will solve…..i guess the hardship we have in this country also doesn’t help matters….

    Like you aptly titled….to give or not to give!

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