Pinterest Can't Do This for You
I realized today that Pinterest is the world’s largest site of “that-looks-great-but-I’ll-never-actually-do-it” ideas. Seriously, who takes the time to turn bar soap into liquid soap? And how many people who are pinning these exercise techniques are really using them?
I went back and looked at some of my own Pinterest boards this morning and have to confess that I will never have a lighted stone pathway in my backyard. Additionally, I will never combine one-part rubbing alcohol and three-parts water to make my own *reusable* ice pack. I would much rather spend $2.99 at Walgreens for the non-Ziploc version.
As I was thinking about all of the good ideas that rarely get used, I started to wonder if generosity falls into that camp. Is generosity – in its internet form – just another good idea to pin on a board? It makes for pretty pictures and heart-warming stories… but, how many people talk about generosity without ever engaging in the practice of generosity? How many people share “End Poverty Now” photos on their Facebook page without any real intention of contributing to the cause? How many people will share Habitat for Humanity links without ever volunteering to pick up a hammer? How many sermons are preached on generosity without any church follow-up?
Are we taking the sacrifice and servanthood elements out of generosity and replacing them with our improved social status?
Maybe we should rethink this.
The Generosity of Jesus
Specifically – for those of us who are church leaders, promoting the ways of Jesus – we need to rethink this. It has huge, long-term implications.
Jesus did not have any problem talking about money or generosity. In fact, He talked about these subjects more than almost anything else He discussed. However, Jesus did not stop at social rhetoric and He did not limit His generosity to those who deserved it. Jesus practiced generosity… even toward His enemies.
On the way to the cross, Jesus turned the other cheek, gave the tunic off His back, went the second mile, and prayed for His attackers to be forgiven.
At one point, Jesus even offered a reason for His insistence on generous living. In Luke 6:35, He says that when we are generous toward others, “[our] reward will be great, and [we] will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked.” In other words, He says that when we act generously, we are imitating the ways of God. Through generosity, we start to look like the Father.
It has been said that, “You have never really lived until you have done something for someone who can never repay you.” That’s a great social status saying. You may be tempted to post it to your Twitter page. But it’s an irrelevant statement until we put hands and feet to those words.