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Rated: ASR · Essay · Personal · #2085078
Doing good as self service
When? When do I get it? When do I realize it's not about me? It's funny, because I know the answer is "never." But I still try to convince myself I can think about others more than myself.

Perhaps that's because I can choose who those others are. How many charities I donate to, how many hours I spend on a project, and how much thought I give to a question are my decisions. I want to donate to a worthy group, and not one that wastes my money on unnecessary items. Embodied in the last sentence is a large part of my problem. What I get from donating has more to do with feeling good about myself than it does helping others. That's truly what I want. I choose the worth of a group based on my desires. Last year a radio station I listen to donated $1000 a day for a month to charity. Listeners were invited to vote for one charity daily from a list of four or five. Every day I voted, I found some charity that seemed less important than my choice. Some others I could comprehend as valuable, but there was always one that made me wonder why it was on the list. My decisions about worth included opinions about what was unworthy. Did my opinions matter as much as God's? No, but I relished the opportunity to deride someone else's idea. I did not select good without deciding what constituted bad.

I don't want my money to be used in a way I disapprove of. That's because I haven't surrendered that money. It's still mine, even after I write the check or enter the debit card number. I've not given up the idea that my control of those funds is the primary concern. Since it's really my money I can call the shots. That's why I choose---to satisfy my own notions of what is valuable. If a group offers higher salaries or celebrity endorsements or constant mailings, why should that matter? The goal, always, is to please God. Yet I desire to judge and control and allot. Praying about what to do often doesn't cross my mind. I forget that all things I possess come from God and should return to Him in all things. All things are about my relationship with Him, and how I pursue that. Yet I believe even when doing good, it's all about me.
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