Your Giving Legacy Starts Now

a plant growing out of coins
My parents loved to give.

We were poor much of my childhood. My dad pastored tiny churches and did custodial work. My mom stayed at home until finally she entered the workforce out of necessity, first at McDonald’s, then at my school as a yard duty and cafeteria worker.

But I never knew we were poor, in part because our refrigerator door held the prayer cards of missionaries we supported around the world. They fascinated me — the pictures of the husband and wife physician team working in Pakistan, the John Denver lookalike translating the Bible into the Mongolian language, the hospital in Central Africa (for years my mom joined ladies at church in making bandages out of bed sheets, then rolling and shipping them in huge barrels overseas), the church planter in Venezuela — and so many more.

When my mom was in the early stages of dementia, my sister and I started sorting through her mail. We noticed that several organizations, some worthy and some completely sketchy, were sending her appeal letters once a week or more. Upon close inspection of her bank account, we saw that she was writing checks as often as the appeals came in. Even though we had to take over her finances to ensure that she didn’t become destitute, we agreed that her generosity was an important lesson for us, and quite obviously a habit that she had cultivated years earlier.

What are your giving habits? Have you disciplined yourself to give regularly, not merely when you have a little bit extra at the end of the month? Do you decide in your heart what to give in advance, then do it cheerfully and without fanfare? Do you give to the point of personal sacrifice?

I remember in my 20s sitting in church after hearing an update on a local ministry. I knew God was telling me to give to this organization, but I also knew that if I did, I wouldn’t make my rent that month. I dropped a check in the offering basket and prayed, “Lord, please show what a big God you are by not letting my rent check bounce when it’s deposited.”

My check bounced.

I had to pay fines to both my bank and the apartment management company. But I survived. And I was reminded that giving is a privilege and rarely a zero-sum game where everything is neat and tidy. I knew I’d been obedient to the Holy Spirit’s prompting, and that was more than enough.

When you’re in your 80s like my mom, will you look back on your life and see a giving legacy that began in your 20s or before? Maybe it will start today. It’s not too late.

You have the opportunity to give right now to a safe bet, a worthy cause; you have the opportunity to give to Boundless.org. We’re at the front end of our yearly giving campaign. The money that we raise (which will actually be matched dollar for dollar up to $40,000) will go to keep Boundless growing and serving you and other single young adults, some of whom may not even know us yet. I manage Boundless’ budget, so I can assure you that we spend our money prayerfully and efficiently. We don’t do a lot of nonsense, nor do we have a ton of admin costs. We publish great content, put on high-touch events like Pursuit, answer specifically the life questions that come in from you all each day, offer a sane voice on relationships and life in a broken culture, and brainstorm ways we can do even more in the days ahead. In all this, we elevate Jesus, not ourselves.

If Boundless has been a safe place for you and you’ve benefited from what we have to offer, will you consider giving a gift as we finish out our year? We’d sure appreciate it. Again, your gift will be matched, and thus DOUBLED, if you give today.

Thanks, friend. May God continue to guide you as you navigate life in the coming weeks — and as you cultivate a giving legacy that will mark your life for decades to come.

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About the Author

Lisa Anderson

Lisa Anderson is the director of Boundless and young adults at Focus on the Family and hosts The Boundless Show, a national radio program and podcast. She loves connecting with single young adults and strategizing how to better equip them for life, relationships and a faith that goes the distance; she does not love managing budgets or signing contracts, but realizes that’s part of her job, too. Lisa can often be heard at conferences and on radio and TV, getting worked up about dating, relationships, faith and hip-hop. She grew up in San Jose, California, is a graduate of Trinity International University in Chicago, and spent a good chunk of her life in media relations before joining Boundless. She runs to counterbalance her love of pastries and chicken tikka masala, and often quotes her mom, who’s known to say outrageous things. She’s the author of The Dating Manifesto: A Drama-Free Plan for Pursuing Marriage with Purpose (David C. Cook). Follow Lisa on Twitter @LisaCAnderson.