There are many laudable ways to give for the benefit of others. But there’s also a lot of disagreement as to what constitutes the best style of giving. Some say to give too little is harmful. Others say the same about giving too much. Is it too much to hope for a solution to the dilemma?
In his letter to the Corinthians, Paul speaks of a Biblical law that relates to charitable giving.
“Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. As it is written: ‘They have freely scattered their gifts to the poor; their righteousness endures forever.’ Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.” II Corinthians 9:7-11 NIV
During a period of severe drought, God directed the prophet Elisha to pass by the home of a widow woman and ask for food and drink. When he did, she replied that she and her son didn’t have even enough flour and oil to bake bread for the two of them. She was at the end of her rope.
But Elisha didn’t back off from his request. He still urged, “Fear not… make me thereof a little cake first, and bring it unto me, and afterward make for thee and for thy son. For thus saith the Lord God of Israel: ‘The barrel of meal shall not waste, neither shall the cruse of oil fail, until the day that the Lord sendeth rain upon the earth.’” I Kings 17: 13,14
Elisha knew the divine law of giving. From the infinite resource of divine Love, we all have the capacity to give. God provides all things necessary for his creation to thrive. No one is left out. Mary Baker Eddy explained, “Divine Love always has met and always will meet every human need.” The widow prepared Elijah’s meal and, instead of running out, her family was blessed with ongoing provision.
Divine Love and its benevolent power is never absent nor inactive. Man as the image and likeness of God has the right and ability to reflect God's abundant benevolence in cheerful giving.
God never withholds good from His children. We can each cultivate a deeper understanding of God and his law of unfailing divine good.
So to the question, Should you keep the buttons? Knowing yourself as the abundant reflection, the image and idea, of the divine Love that is our benevolent God, you will find your way to how best to help others. And in so doing you will also help yourself.