Lent survival tip No. 15: ‘Give until it hurts (the pocketbook that is)’

It was one of my New Year’s resolutions: stretch the pocketbook and give more. Not that I necessarily tend toward Scrooginess, just that I lean toward giving time and talent more than treasure.

God kept nagging me. I felt convicted over and over that I needed to give more. After all, as author and blogger Mark Shea notes, “the Christian tradition commends not just generosity, but almost a crazy generosity.” He even says that Jesus’ guidelines for generosity border on recklessness — at least as far as worldly standards of being “sensible” are concerned. Gulp.

We talk about the standard 10 percent tithe, but that is only the minimum, and most definitely not the stretching point (although it can feel like it). Is it hard? Yes. Is budgeting a pain? Most assuredly yes. But it’s worth it. We should take a step back and look at our lifestyle. What can we simplify, and what can we sacrifice?

Shea quoted this Scripture passage in his article:

“Give and gifts will be given to you; a good measure, packed together, shaken down, and overflowing, will be poured into your lap. For the measure with which you measure will in return be measured out to you” (Lk 6:38).

Each week during Lent I have shared a quick tip on each of the three disciplines of the season: prayer, fasting and almsgiving (check them out in the table). This is the last official "Lent survival tip" for Lent. Tune in next week for Holy Week. May God bless you.

Jennifer Rey is the web editor of Our Sunday Visitor Publishing. Follow her on Twitter @JenReyOSV.