Most of us are familiar with the Biblical principle of "stewarding" our resources in such a way that our complex family, church, and Kingdom responsibilities are evaluated carefully. We must first provide for our family (I Timothy 5:8). We must give regularly and systematically to our church (Malachi 3:10; I Corinthians 16:2). We must also consider the broader work of our Lord in the Kingdom (I Corinthians 8:1-7; Galatians 6:7-11). Sometimes the Holy Spirit tugs at our heart to "do" more, but we feel a real conflict between the priorities. Here are a couple of recent examples of those whose choices reflected wise stewardship.
Ownership into Income
A gift of stock purchased some time ago was given to ICR in exchange for a Charitable Gift Annuity (CGA). The donor could have sold the stock, but would have faced a fairly hefty capital gains tax along with an on-going tax on the interest earned (as small as that is at the present). Instead, by "gifting" the stock to ICR for a CGA, the donor receives a significant tax deduction for the "profit" from the stock (at present market value), and a guaranteed income for life. That income is much larger than could be earned in another guaranteed format, and a large portion of the income is tax-free—thereby compounding the effective yield from his stock. Both ICR and the donor benefit.
Another donor lives in an assisted living home. The nature of the relationship with the home suggested that any "new" assets be given to that organization. When a recent annuity matured, rather than allow a commercial venture to further profit from the resource, the "old" asset was given to ICR. That donor had already taken care of family and church, so it was pleasing to "give" a significant donation to ICR that might have gone elsewhere. The donor's heart of stewardship was satisfied and ICR received wonderful and timely help. Life insurance policies, annuities, maturing bonds and CD's can all be used in this way to "fund" special gifts for the Lord's work.