Giving Tuesday is a beautiful thing.
Oh, I know, some think it’s horrid, a day for charities to exploit people’s seasonal feelings of generosity and goodwill.
But in reality, it points to a cure that we as believers desperately need.
Let me explain.
Materialism, or consumerism, has so invaded American culture that it’s finagled its way into the American church and worse, into our hearts. The constant bombardment of media and advertising asserting that we need more, we deserve more and we can be happier with more threatens to drive all sense of contentment from our lives. We don’t feel blessed and loved and provided for by God; quite the contrary. We may never put it into words, but we live our lives as if God is stingy and miserly.
Yes, we all know He’s neither.
But how do we make His abundance real to ourselves? How do we strip away materialism and consumerism, and find contentment in Him?
Generosity may not be the cure itself, but it’s definitely remedial. It’s a way to shift our attention from what we want to what God wants.
So where do we start?
Let’s start where the Macedonians started. Paul cites the Macedonians as a great example of generosity in 2 Corinthians 8. In verse 5, Paul writes that “first they gave themselves to the Lord, and then to us by the will of God.”
The way I read the chapter – and I encourage you to study it for yourself – the Macedonians first acknowledged that everything belongs to God. Not just everything they had, but everything they were. They said, “Here, Lord. Use us. All of us.”
And when Paul came around collecting for the relief of the believers in Jerusalem, they insisted on being allowed to give with liberality. They gave “beyond their ability,” or as one modern translation puts it, “more than they could afford.”
It seems as if Paul saw them as poor and didn’t want to bother them with this offering. But they knew they were rich in God and they desired therefore to be rich in generosity. But it was more than a desire; we all would love to give lots to God’s work, right? It was a desire they insisted on acting upon. It was a desire that they would not allow their financial straits to thwart, because they recognized it as a desire from God.
So by the end of today, Giving Tuesday, will you demonstrate that all you are and all you have belongs to God? Will you act generously before this day is out?
Maybe you don’t feel it the way the Macedonians did. Maybe you’re not thankful for opportunities to give. Maybe, to be quite honest, you’re feeling put upon and bombarded. And maybe that’s exactly why you need to act generously, to begin to silence the world’s materialistic drumbeat and help align your heart with God’s heart.
We encourage you to seek, find and follow God’s leading in generosity. We would welcome your partnership with a special gift to our ministry. You can send a check, with a note that it is for the ministry of Ian and Julie Fallis, to Ethnos360, 312 W. First St., Sanford, FL 32771. Or you can make a secure gift online.