Discernment For Donations
Often I receive Facebook friend requests from ministers (mostly from Africa and Asia) who eventually send emails asking for money. As a rule, I do not send donations in response to unsolicited emails. 1 Thessalonians 5:12 (KJV) tells us “…to know them which labour among you.” I’m more inclined to give to ministers I have a relationship with and/or whose teachings have impacted my life. Galatians 6:6 says, “Let him who is taught the word share in all good things with him who teaches.”
While some of the appeals I receive by email may be for legitimate purposes, there are many others that are fraudulent. In my Facebook inbox, I’ve seen similarly worded messages from strangers saying, “I came across your contact profile and become interested to be your friend and I have some investment project in your country.” I’ve ignored these messages especially since most of them wanted a reply sent to a separate email address. One man I know was conned out of $400 by a Facebook friend claiming to be a businesswoman who had a romantic interest in him.
Then there are scammers setting up Facebook pages pretending to be well-known ministers. Another friend of mine told me about a time he was chatting online with someone claiming to be Joyce Meyer. He knew it wasn't real when “Joyce” started asking for money.
One article I found online listed a good guideline regarding giving…
1) Let the world take care of worldly charities.
2) Support your local church with tithes and offerings.
3) Decide which Christian ministries to support.
4) Give generously but with discernment.
Jesus commended the unjust steward in Luke 16:8 “…because he had dealt shrewdly.” He went on to say, “For the sons of this world are more shrewd in their generation than the sons of light.” Believers shouldn’t be gullible and haphazardly give money to anyone approaching them for a donation. One can discern who to give to by consistently reading the Word of God, listening to the voice of the Holy Spirit and using common sense.
God wants us to be cheerful givers…but also smart ones.
“Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore be wise as serpents and harmless as doves.” - Matthew 10:16