Matthew’s gospel includes an interesting story in chapter 15. It is the story of a Canaanite mother. We know she had at least one child but very little is known about her otherwise. However, the fact that Matthew captures her story is amazing and we should not miss it. Matthew, who was a tax collector prior to meeting Christ, strikes me as someone who would debunk social norms. After all, Matthew had lived outside of the Jewish social norms when he served as a despised tax collector. We should treasure this story as a huge victory for females of the ancient world. I encourage you to read the story and analyze Jesus’ reply to the woman. He ended the interaction by telling her that her faith was great. The expert in and author of faith told a first-century, Gentile woman that her faith was great! Scripture does not indicate that Jesus ever told Peter, James, John, or His other chosen disciples that their faith was great. In fact, He usually said the opposite: “You of little faith.” The bible scholars who will read this blog may challenge me, but to my knowledge, Jesus only gave similar praise to one other person, a Roman soldier stationed in Capernaum. A first-century woman, pleading for her child, gets a once-in-a-lifetime encounter with the God of the Universe and we get an example of faith to which to aspire even today.
Fast forward nearly 2000 years. In modern day, we have many women to admire and look up to and feelings around the role of women in society have made huge strides toward equality. We still have needed improvements to make in the realms of equal pay and equal representation, but thank the Lord, we have come a long way since first-century Palestine, at least in this part of the world! We should continue to pray for our Sisters around the world who face persecution each and every day. Leaders everywhere need to take note of the growing power and influence of women in our world. The field of philanthropy is starting to understand the importance of talking to and listening to the unique perspective of women in this field. Women have a significant voice in the Charity realm because, quite frankly, there are more women and on a growing level, they control more of the money.
I know I am speaking in generalities but women statistically live longer than men. By that assumption, women often manage inheritances from two sources, first from their parents and then from their significant other. The trillions of dollars that will pass from one generation to the next as baby boomers enter the more immediate presence of our Lord will largely be controlled and directed by women. I do not think the often-heard comment from philanthropy circles that women are more generous than men is true, but I know there are more women so we need to help them be successful making their mark on the world and within God’s church. According to Fidelity’s study on Women and Giving there are key points:
· 51% of women give in the moment vs. using a strategy
· 61% of women grew up giving
· 68% of women consider themselves highly engaged in giving
· Women tend to look to experts to inform their decisions
· Women are more likely to have questions around the finances of giving
To me these trends point to the value of what we do at Moravian Ministries Foundation and how we work with individuals to fulfill their passions and goals when it comes to their philanthropy. It also points to the challenge we face to continue to show results and speak more about the impact of the charitable work going on within the church and around the world. Women today are a more powerful influence individually and as groups. Moravian Ministries Foundation wants to help by working with all donors to define their moral mission and help them enjoy the thrill of giving back. There is no greater joy than giving and working to make impact toward Christ’s call on our lives. It takes faith to step out and volunteer and in many cases to give financially. May we all work hard in the direction of Christ’s call on our lives so can support others to have great faith…