Health & Spirit

How can I know who really needs money and will use it wisely?

By Billy Graham, Tribune Content Agency on

Q: I get upset at all the mail we get this time of year from charities and agencies asking for money. I just throw most of them in the trash. I know we could give more than we do, but how can I know who really needs money and will use it wisely? -- G.McK.

A: Although you may not be aware of it, many nonprofit organizations (including our own) depend on year-end giving to balance their budgets and keep their work on a solid financial foundation. Without these gifts, their work would have to be cut back, and countless people who depend on them would be seriously affected.

This is why I hope you'll do at least two things as you consider your year-end giving. First, realize that your money isn't really yours. God gave it to you; He gave you the ability to earn it, and He gave you the opportunity to use it wisely. Perhaps this is a radical thought to you -- but it should give you a sincere "attitude of gratitude" for all you have. The Bible says, "When God gives someone wealth and possessions ... this is a gift of God" (Ecclesiastes 5:19).

Second, pray about your giving. God knows what you can give -- and He also knows where it will do the most good. No, you can't support every worthwhile project; the needs are too great. But ask God to guide you to organizations and projects you can support -- especially ones that touch people's lives for Christ. Your pastor may be able to point you to groups that have a sound financial reputation.

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Don't, however, overlook your most important gift -- and that is the gift of your life to Jesus Christ. He gave His life for us; why give anything less to Him?


(Send your queries to "My Answer," c/o Billy Graham, Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, 1 Billy Graham Parkway, Charlotte, N.C., 28201; call 1-(877) 2-GRAHAM, or visit the Web site for the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association:



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