I write today on Tuesday, November 29, 2022. Designated a ‘Giving Tuesday’ that began a decade ago to raise awareness of the need to enact radical generosity in the hearts and souls of people. This movement has grown to become global in scope, while remaining locally focused. If you are like me, your inbox and mailbox is full of requests for dollars. What originally began as a hands-on day of giving now rests in the click of mouse or touch on a pad and dropping an envelope in the mail. Simply, our hearts are giving and our hands are idle. Such is life in affluent society. No more roll-up your sleeves? The answer is both/and. Yes we are wired to do both, Circumstances and situations require both, but maybe not by the same individual. Perhaps we have nothing of monetary value to give, but our time, sweat and tears. Maybe in our giving we have the money and so we do give.
Even if this day of giving ends up with money transfer or if it ends up with blisters, scars, and ridicule. We gave. Why is that important? Because its not what we gave but what is received by both the giver AND receiver. Our bodies in their fragile and intricately balanced state, need both. Those who can – do. Those who can’t – always try. It’s part of who and whose we are. God gives and God receives. Create in the image of God, we are givers and receivers who benefit from both. Sharing resources – that we were blessed with by God in the first place – is righteous. We get this sharing instinct from our Creator. Despite the dubious grammar… WE CAN’T NOT GIVE.
Since we ‘need’ to give and to also ‘receive’ our daily destiny is a both/and affair – intimate and sacrificial. Giving Tuesday is brilliant..as it points to another 6 days of opportunity. It is no mistake that a capitalist society is driven by catch phrases and days earmarked for sales. We are on a roller coaster: Acquiring what we don’t need on Black Friday and then dispatching what is left on Giving Tuesday that follows. If we step off the coaster and level the terrain of life and give everyday there is a chance we can return to living for God and others, rather than ourselves first.
Many have suggested thoughtful and tangible ways to ‘train our brain’ to connect with the original intent of God. For example, the 80/20 rule – where we live on 80%, give away 10% and save 10% of every dollar we are blessed to receive. That works in human terms, but eternally is doesn’t measure up. Remember the balance state – giver and receiver. God desires 100%. If we give everyday then someone receives everyday. A perpetual graceXchange. God gave the life of His Son Jesus so that by grace alone we could be saved. We give and others receive. In turn, others give and we receive. The giver-receiver relationship stokes its own engine powered out of love rather than obligation. This may sound like the premise of the movie pay-it-forward, with one exception. Except for the reality that God always gets God’s way. God gets us, His imperfect creation because Jesus kept His eyes focused on the prize – forgiveness.