Thursday, June 23, 2011

Add Some Velocity to Your Generosity

I love givers. People who would give you the shirt off their back are good people to have around. To be honest, for some reason I was not greatly gifted with that gene (or spiritual gift). I love to give, and always feel great when I do, but it does not always come naturally to me.

On the other hand, my wife Nancy somehow overdoses on this kind of kindness. Just the other day she got a two for one bread deal at the store and gave the free loaf to an older fella in the parking lot. Recently she was walking the dog in the neighborhood and as a result ended up making a loaf of bread for some neighbors she had just met. I fully expect, in the not-to-distant future, there will be a family of strangers (er, I mean new best friends) at the dinner table when I get home from work.

Some of us grew up having "giving" modeled for us by our families. You know that "better to give than receive" thinking? But for many, that simply meant making sure you gave something to the less fortunate from time to time to make yourself feel good. It may have meant pulling some old clothes out of the closet or dropping a few bucks in the offering plate when it was passed for a special cause. And that's not all bad, in and of itself. But when we add some "velocity to our generosity" amazing things happen.

Instead of dropping a few bucks in the plate or donating clothes, what if we decided to take a day a month to head downtown and help at a homeless shelter? Or what if we loaded tools into our car and drove around the neighborhood and asked people we saw working in their yard if we might join them? Kind of like a "drive-by disciple."

Or what if we agreed within our family that we would set aside a significant amount of money from our budget each month and call it the "Blessing Fund." And then taking the money and searching out everyday people to go and bless with the money? A dinner? An evening away with their family? Paying one of their utility bills? How cool would that be?

I am convinced we can fall into a rut, even with our giving. And when we do our giving becomes stale and routine. But if we think, get creative, look at things with a "generous giving set of eyes" and get bold with our giving, we will add that velocity to our generosity and it will grow stronger and more fulfilling, not only for us, but for those who are on the receiving end of it.

John Wesley got it. He said: "Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can, as long as ever you can." Now that's velocity. Be a blessing and be blessed today.