At Barnhart, one of our Core Values is Profit with a Purpose. Everyone has a purpose for the profit that they generate. Barnhart has simply decided to make the purpose explicit. Please do not read this blog as a claim to having achieved any of the goals we have set for ourselves. It is simply offered as an explanation of what we aspire to, and what we hope will be reflected in the activity of the company.
The idea for this blog was generated by an article that a friend shared with me. In that article, the fruit of a recent study, some data on the generosity of your neighborhood was found that could make you rethink some of the myths that surround generosity. (http://www.npr.org/2012/08/20/158947667/study-reveals-the-geography-of-charitable-giving)
Myth Number 1: Poorer Areas Cannot Give as much.
According to the study, in spite of living in one of the poorer areas in the US, Memphis and the surrounding area holds a population of some of the most generous people around. Maybe that has to do with the influence of the gospel or maybe it is something else. The data shows that your stratum of income does not indicate whether or not you are generous.
Myth Number 2: When I make more money, I will give more.
Not in the slightest. In fact, this study indicates that the opposite is true. The more you make, the less you end up giving. The Bible teaches it in a different way; if you have received, you will give. In fact, it is even said by the Lord Jesus that it is better to give than to receive. My math does not work like that, but Jesus’ math does.
A really good principle to live by is to give now. Give as you prosper. Give generously. The idea that “once you arrive, start giving” is not considered a Biblical building block of stewardship. The reason for this is that your heart will always redefine “enough” and will never think it has arrived financially. Start giving now and pray that the Lord will help you to respond to him in giving of your resources.
Myth Number 3: Giving Neighbors Inspire Other People to Give.
Not exactly. While cultural giving can have an influence on you, it seems that only when you live in more diverse areas do you find the impetus to give out of your bounty. This means that if you do not see or know any poor people, you are less likely to give, according to the article.
Simply put, the truth about giving is that we should give regardless of our station; we should give as we prosper; and we should give as one way to connect to the people in our community. “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich.” (2 Corinthians 8:9)