A couple of days ago, our stimulus check arrived in our account.
In the months leading up to this second round, I kept hoping they would only give stimulus checks to those who are actually negatively affected financially by COVID-19, by funneling the money into unemployment, struggling businesses, restaurants, etc. Many of us who have received checks did not need them.
Let me clarify - when I teach budgeting, I ask people to differentiate between "needs, wants, and desires." We always can use more money. Even Rockefeller said, when asked how much is enough, "Just one more dollar." There are always house projects, there are personal improvement goals, there are student debts for our children, there are many things that are good.
But need? Not for a lot of us. If we have not been negatively affected by COVID-19 financially, then there should not be a need. Do we have wants? Yes, many! Do we have desires? Yes!
But needs? Not if we have the basics food, shelter, transport, water, electricity, clothing, safety and so on.
So what to do now? We weren't asked if we wanted the money (how I wish they had!).
That is what I've been wondering. Michael and I donated our stimulus checks in the spring to the COVID work of DML in Africa. A number of you joined us! Our teams have been doing amazing sustainability projects with them in terms of mushroom farming, pig farming, goat farming, "Joseph projects" for storing grain, and so on. If you would like to give your stimulus check to that, please click here and know that it will be well used and be a blessing for years to come!
Or maybe you know of someone in the US who has been negatively affected and won't receive a check because they are a refugee or here on a visa. Send it to them directly or give it to the Africa Resource Center of West Michigan. The director, Dr. Bernard Ayoola, sits on the board of DML and does excellent work with African refugees.
Or maybe you know of a small business owner who has had to restrict hours. Or maybe you have a favorite restaurant who has only been able to do delivery or curb-side service. Give it to them.
Or maybe you know of someone who lost a loved one to COVID and could use a gift to encourage them or support them or comfort them. Give it to them.
There is a great temptation when money is dumped in our account (without the option of saying yes or no) to just "use it up," to establish new "needs" in our lives. But I believe that we are called to such a time as this to think of those who are hurting among us and love our neighbor (Matthew 22).
Who is your neighbor at such a time as this?
I encourage you to prayerfully consider who God might be nudging you to bless. We are blessed to be a blessing, and we serve an equipping God. Wealth is a renewable resource. Let's give with joy.