AN AMAZING FACT: According to Business Week, the United States’ richest one percent—who own two-fifths of the country’s wealth—donate only two percent of their incomes each year to charity. In contrast, families in the bottom income bracket donate an average of six percent. At least 20 percent of the wealthiest estates leave not even a penny to charity.
The top philanthropists in our society donate millions to charity each year. On the list are names such as Oprah Winfrey and Bill and Melinda Gates, names familiar to most of us. In comparison to such massive amounts, it is easy to see our own contributions as tiny drops in a bucket of water. But surprisingly, while the numeric amount of these rich donations is quite high, the percentages tell a different story. Families in the bottom income bracket actually donate a higher percentage of their income to charity than the wealthiest in the nation.
Jesus’ words to His disciples remind us of the importance of our small gifts. “When you do a charitable deed, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, that your charitable deed may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will Himself reward you openly.” A spot on the top philanthropy list and millions given to charity might bring worldly attention and acclaim, but God sees the significance of the small, unnoticed gifts. In His eyes, they are even more valuable.
KEY BIBLE TEXTS
But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth: Matthew 6:3That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly. Matthew 6:4