When I was a kid, giving was done in envelopes on Sunday mornings,
In putting folded bills in red kettles,
In addressing and stamping envelopes to various charities,
In wrapped trinkets under a Christmas tree.
As I've grown, the Internet has changed things.
Now most of our giving is done online.
Our fingers touch keys instead of money,
Address emails instead of envelopes,
And even some Christmas gifts aren't as tangible as they used to be.
With the invention of the Internet, however,
We can also know more about what we're giving to,
What our money does.
It's easy to be detached from suffering we don't see.
The Internet has put images of that suffering in front of my face over and over again.
It's still not the same as being there,
It's better than an annual flier in the mail?
And it's so much easier to give!
I don't have to go anywhere!
All I have to do is click a few links,
Type in a few numbers,
And, voila!, I have given.
Of course, there's a sense of detachment with that, too.
It's easy and fast, just like everything else in our culture.
(One of the things I find very interesting about Passion is that they have people wait in line to give -
Hour-long lines -
And the people do it -
It is so incredible to me to see people put so much effort into giving!)
As for giving Biblically, I'll go back to the article I pulled verses from in my last post:
Give generously to him and do so without a grudging heart; then because of this the Lord your God will bless you in all your work and in everything you put your hand to.
Every man shall give as he is able, according to the blessing of the LORD your God which He has given you.
1 Chronicles 29:9
Then the people rejoiced because they had offered so willingly, for they made their offering to the Lord with a whole heart, and King David also rejoiced greatly.
Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to do it.
There is one who scatters, and yet increases all the more, and there is one who withholds what is justly due, and yet it results only in want. The generous man will be prosperous, and he who waters will himself be watered.
…the righteous gives and does not hold back.
He who is generous will be blessed, for he gives some of his food to the poor.
He who gives to the poor will never want, but he who shuts his eyes will have many curses.
“Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, so that there may be food in My house, and test Me now in this,” says the Lord of hosts, “if I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you a blessing until it overflows.
But when you give to the poor, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving will be in secret; and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.
And He sat down opposite the treasury, and began observing how the people were putting money into the treasury; and many rich people were putting in large sums. A poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which amount to a cent. Calling His disciples to Him, He said to them, “Truly I say to you, this poor widow put in more than all the contributors to the treasury; for they all put in out of their surplus, but she, out of her poverty, put in all she owned, all she had to live on.”
And he would answer and say to them, “The man who has two tunics is to share with him who has none; and he who has food is to do likewise.”
Give to everyone who asks of you, and whoever takes away what is yours, do not demand it back.
Give, and it will be given to you. They will pour into your lap a good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over. For by your standard of measure it will be measured to you in return.
For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believes in Him wouldn’t perish, but would have eternal life.
In everything I showed you that by working hard in this manner you must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He Himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.
…Or he who exhorts, in his exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.
2 Corinthians 9:6-8
Now this I say, he who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must do just as he has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed.
2 Corinthians 9:10
Now He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness;
And you yourselves also know, Philippians, that at the first preaching of the gospel, after I departed from Macedonia, no church shared with me in the matter of giving and receiving but you alone; for even in Thessalonica you send a gift more than once for my needs. Not that I seek the gift itself, but I seek for the profit which increases to your account.
James 2:15-16The Bible has so much to say about giving (see previous post) -
If a brother or sister is without clothing and in need of daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and be filled,” and yet you do not give them what is necessary for their body, what use is that?
Primarily, that we should do it,
And do it generously,
It's hard to think like that in the culture that surrounds us,
But doing it is so easy!
We've been so blessed to have resources like the Internet,
Money with which to pay credit card bills . . .
So many don't have these luxuries!
So, what does giving Biblically look like?
Like the woman who put in all she had to live on.
Like the churches in Macedonia that gave beyond their means.
Like the pastor who writes books and donates every cent he makes as an author to a worthy cause.
Like the exhausted college student who spends hours talking with a friend in need instead of catching up on sleep.
Like the 50,000 supposedly poor young adults who went to Passion last year, were told that no one believed they could raise 1 million dollars to free people in slavery, then blew away everyone's expectations by raising 3 million. (And most of them waited in long lines to donate that money, too.)
Like . . . well, you get the picture.
Are you living the picture?
I'm trying, but I have so much still to learn.
Learn with me?
Compassion International is currently doing 20 Days About Giving.
They are trying to raise $20,000 dollars to help children in extreme poverty.
So far, they have raised $532.
Will you help?
Visit Compassion's Christmas gift catalog and buy a gift that will change someone's life
Because, really, everything we have is a gift,
So, really, it is all about giving (#itsallaboutgiving).
It's About Giving Posts:
- It's About Giving (Intro)
- What Does Giving Mean to You?
- What Does Giving Look Like?
- Final Assignment