Posted by: nmontague | June 12, 2010

Outsourcing Charity

We often hear on the news about a job with one company or another moving over seas so they can take advantage of lower market wages in those nations and create more profits while providing cheaper services or products to others. Naturally, the people who are employed in those jobs in the Western world, don’t particularly like when they lose their job so their company can employ others to work cheaper. Our politicians often make promises to stop those “big evil” corporations from outsourcing the jobs of the working class overseas.

Elsewhere in the world, we see businesses outsourcing different departments to other firms because they believe they can be done cheaper that way then by producing their own. For example, it’s quite common for a company to hire an advertising firm rather than create their own advertising department. By outsourcing these departments, companies eliminate much of their overhead cost. It’s a way to be more efficient. However, there are downsides to these activities as well, such as losing control of how things are run for the company. You have to rely on others to do work for you.

However, I am not writing this entry to focus on outsourcing business employment. I am writing this because I see a trend that causes me much greater concern. Outsourcing of charity.

Now, what I mean by outsourcing charity, is we expect other people to be charitable for us. We expect some government to give us money. We expect a politician to provide services for people. We may even donate money to worthy causes. But are we really being charitable or showing compassion by empowering government to do what we should be doing as individuals? Are we being charitable simply by donating money with no extra effort on our part? Are we charitable people, or do we just think we are charitable people? Do we want to actually help people or just look like we are?

Charity is more than simply throwing money in a pot. Or throwing the money of others into a pot through over-taxation and the use of force. Charity is isn’t charity if it’s force. Compassion isn’t taking from one and giving to another. It’s giving of yourself of both your time talents, and money to lift people up. Not simply to handing them money and saying you care.

A few years ago, I was talking with one of my local ministers. I was just starting out my career and trying to figure out the next part of my life. He said something that touched me a lot. It was something I had similar feelings on already, but by saying them he gave me a better perspective. He told me that I should look at my career as my own personal ministry. That it’s not enough go to work and get paid, but we have to go to work for the right reasons. To help others. I think that’s charity. Even if it’s paid. Because charity is an attitude we have. It’s something we become. It’s giving ourselves in everything we do to the benefit of others.

If you haven’t figured out by the article, I am not a big fan of government handouts. I think it robs the individual of the opportunity to truly be charitable. It robs those that receive of the opportunity to be grateful. Instead of mutual edification, it leads to mutual resentment. The people forced to give through taxation resent the people taking their money. The people receiving are resentful about not getting more of what they are “entitled” to instead of being grateful for what has been freely given.

I’m not trying to argue a political point here. If you don’t see things the way I do, that’s fine. But I still think we will create a much better life for ourselves, our families, and for our society if we don’t outsource our charity to a government or by donating money and nothing else. Please still donate money, but do more! Make time every week to help someone. If you see a need, try to fulfill it. If you need people to help you, reach out and do it. Find your own personal ministry. Lift people up in your own lives.

 Challenges:

1) Sit down. Look at your life. Who are the people in your life that have needs that aren’t met? Do something to help them.

2) Are you making time to serve others every week of your life? If not, make a commitment and start doing so. Set aside some time and find places to volunteer, or better yet, create opportunities to volunteer.

3)Do you have a personal ministry? Do you go to work just feeling like you are going through the hoops? Evaluate it. How do you serve others in the work you do? Are you doing so for the right reasons, or is it for the money?

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