It’s the time of year our hearts open up to the idea of giving things away.
We are more likely to share (some of) our money, (some of) our food, (some of) our time during the time of year surrounding Thanksgiving and Christmas.
We feel the empty hollowness of NOT giving, and in some small way, make ourselves feel better by contributing at least something to the spirit of giving.
I want to think a little bit on what we give away….
How many of us stop and buy some extra tins for the food bank bin at our local grocery?
or donate a Saturday afternoon to the local charity gift drive?
or look through our kids old toys and give them away to charity to make room for the new?
All good, well intentioned acts of giving, no doubt about it.
Most of us have plenty more where that comes from….
What would happen in our lives if we gave until it hurt? What would happen if we gave away our BEST?
What if, instead of half a dozen tins in the bin, we chose instead to take our weekly grocery budget to buy food for another family, and instead, make do with what is still in our cupboards, fridges and freezers?
What would we do with our grumbling attitudes, frazzled thinking when we had to get creative that week instead of just grabbing the easy solution?
What if, instead of going through our closets and giving away the worn, damaged, or out of date clothing, we walked into our favorite store, bought our favorite item and gave it to someone who REALLY needs it because if they don’t get it, they have nothing else to wear?
Does it seem like that would be a ‘waste’ of a perfectly good, brand new sweater/shirt/pants/coat?
Why is second hand ‘good enough’ to give away, but brand new is ‘too good’?
What if instead of taking our family out to a movie, we found a movie in our own stashes that we haven’t watched in awhile, pop some popcorn and hang out at home…..and then take the money that we would have spent on such an evening and give it to a single mom or dad with instructions to treat themselves and their family to a movie night.
Would we feel like our $50 was well spent?
Our thinking of what it means to give has got to change. Our thinking that we are ‘rescuing’ someone with our acts of charity has to change.
Instead, we need to count it a privilege to be able to share. We need to look for opportunities to put ourselves on level ground and see ourselves as the same.
We are all humanity.
** My challenge to you is to try just one of the ideas I listed, or make up one of your own…where you give away your BEST, instead of second best. Take really careful note of the ugliness that surfaces in your own thinking as you do this…all the reasons it’s a ‘bad’ idea, or how you could never do it.
The junk that you may have to wade through when it comes to your own internal dialogue, will teach you something incredibly valuable if you can just stick with it.
Your life might just never be the same…