I love the idea of #GivingTuesday. Following the consumerism of Black Friday into the weekend and Cyber Monday (the online equivalent to Black Friday), #GivingTuesday is exactly that – giving Tuesday. A day to give rather than receive. Starting in the United States in 2012, it encourages people to give their time and money to charities, whether that’s within the local community or beyond. Read more about it here: Giving Tuesday UK.
Although I love the attention that is given to #GivingTuesday and I will be participating myself, I am challenged to go beyond Tuesday, and give on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, every day this week and the next, next month, next year and always.
By this we know love, that [Jesus] laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers. But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him? Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth. 1 John 3:16-18
The greatest gift Jesus gave was Himself. He laid down His life so that we may have life and have it abundantly. Jesus stepped into our broken world, took all of the sin and suffering and said ‘It is finished’. Yet, that’s not the end of the story. It was the beginning of a relationship with God where everyone qualifies because Jesus qualified us.
We should lay down our lives for others. We need to have open, generous hearts and with action and truth, meet the needs of those around us and throughout the world. There are many ways we can do this, whether that’s through a gift, time or money. It’s a challenge to me – I don’t say it with a superior stance; it’s something that God is softening my heart for. I usually make excuses like I am too busy, I don’t have enough money, they don’t look very friendly so I’ll keep walking etc. Harsh but sadly true. Lord, help my judgemental heart.
With all the trials, tribulations and problems we see in the world around us, there will be a time when all of it will come to an end and everything will be made new.
“Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man, and He will live with them. They will be His people, and God Himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the former things have passed away.” And the One seated on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” Revelation 21:3-5
This promise from God of what is to come should propel us to love our neighbour as ourselves. What a better way to demonstrate our love for God and love for other people through giving ourselves to helping others.
Please consider giving today, but don’t limit your giving to just one day of the year. May you be challenged to keep your eyes open to those you come into contact with and for those you know who are in need in different parts of the world.