Let me start by asking this simple question: Can you give what you don’t have?
To answer this question, let’s look at that inspiring story in the Bible where a lame beggar (unable to walk from birth and lives on begging ) gets healed at the Beautiful Gate by disciples Peter and John. The lame beggar had specifically asked the two disciples for money or coins, but Peter looked at him and said – “Silver and gold I do not have ; but what I do have I give to you: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk”.

Peter and John had no money and they did not hide that from the beggar. To me, they had something more than money and that is the healing power of Jesus Christ. And that is what Peter gave to the beggar, which saw him rise and walk for the first time in his life.

Wow ! that’s a miracle. (Please Read the full story in Acts chapter 3).

I’ve often found myself at some places where I’m asked to give but I’m unable to do it because I did not have. Have you also experienced that before? I’m talking about being at that place where you hear so much about giving but you seem helpless not because you don’t want to give but because you just don’t have what they are asking for, in most cases, money. And when you don’t have something, it’s just impossible to give it.

Well, I want us to take a second look at our giving so we don’t feel guilty or helpless when we don’t have what they are asking for.

I’m sure you have heard this verse before or are familiar with it ‘ Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you” -Luke 6:38 and this other one as well in 2 Corinthians 9:7- ” 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”.

These verses are among many in the Bible that encourage us to give. But none of these verses mentions what specifically to give. I am yet to come across a verse in the Bible that specifies that our giving should always be money. If you find one, kindly let me know.

I, therefore, take it that giving can be money, items, or any other good gifts that one possesses as was demonstrated by Peter at the beautiful gate. Peter had the power to heal. This notwithstanding, if you can give money at any time to support a worthy cause including the work of God, providing for the needy, contributing towards a community project, or supporting a family member or sibling, do it willingly and out of your heart.

But when you do not have money, ask yourself this question – what do I have? Time, ideas, talents, energy, and even a smile are some of the valuable gifts one can give out of their heart as well. What about those clothes that you bought but realized you do not need? The shoes, bags, books food, etc can all be given to someone or persons who need them.

Last year, one of our volunteers, Jemima surprised me when she willingly took up the assignment of decorations. By this, she used her talent in ribbon design and decorations to save our foundation money that would have been spent in hiring the services of a decorator.

Another volunteer, Sylvester, was constantly in touch with the team in the Volta Region to ensure that we got our project completed on schedule and according to specifications.

Apart from Jemima and Sylvester, let me add that each of the volunteers can be acknowledged for dedicating their time and making great suggestions,  All these acts are forms of giving that can also come out of a cheerful heart.

So the next time you find yourself at a place where you can’t give money, I suggest you stop worrying.

Offer what you have because, after all,  you can only give what you have. And remember your giving must always be out of love not out of compulsion or pressure. You can read more about giving out of love in my book Straight Outta Love“. 

Let me conclude by encouraging you to give always when you can because giving is not only beneficial to the recipient(s), but it can be deeply rewarding for the giver as well.