Q: The hard economic times haven’t hit me like they have most people, but I’m getting tired of churches and organizations begging me for money because they say their income is way down. After all, I’ve got to think of my own future in case things get worse. Am I just being selfish? — Z.A.
A: You are not necessarily being selfish. This was my answer of October 17 to a similar question:
|The current economic crisis has affected a large fraction of the US and the world. It is smart to plan ahead and reduce your spending. Charity is certainly viewed as a virtue by most, but its important that individuals and families maintain the ability to provide food, shelter, education, and recreation for themselves. If the only way you can support your family is to reduce or eliminate charitable giving, then you should not feel you are doing anything wrong. If you would still like to contribute to your community, you could try donating your time to local organizations that feed and house the disadvantaged, teach people to read, or mentor young people. These activities may also provide you with rewarding, educating experiences and recreation.|
If you decide to give money to a church, you may want to first ask how it would be used. Some churches spend lavishly on ministers’ salaries and overly extravagant facilities. If you feel that your donated money would not used in a manner you approve of, you could make a donation to a charity (maybe even a secular one 😉 ) that would.
Feel free to leave your answer to this question in the comments.