How can you give cheerfully when someone is making you feel bad for owning a dog for your family to enjoy? I have heard attempts to motivate people to give to finance missions and outreaches by citing how much money people spend on dog food each year in America. These kind of financial pleas typically leave me with an uncomfortable feeling in my stomach.
Manipulated guilt is a bad motivator. It may work in the short term, but what is gained financially in the short term is more than offset in the long term by the feeling of violation it leaves and how it closes people’s hearts toward giving. Prosperous people find this to be a bad motivator because their financial experience has taught them they should not make emotionally based financial decisions. Giving by compulsion or manipulation is an emotionally based decision.
Why does manipulation close the potential givers heart? Because the scripture teaches us that God loves a cheerful giver. Why does God love a cheerful giver? When we give cheerfully, we are imitating him. Remember John 3:16, “For God so love the world, that he gave…”. When we give cheerfully we are functioning in his image, as we were created to do. Don’t give by compulsion and please don’t ask others to give by compulsion.