advent conspiracy [give more]: Berit Kimrey
Today’s advent conspiracy post is written by Berit Kimrey. Berit spends her days working at Heifer International, her free time with her husband Paul and sons Cole and David (aka Thing 1 and Thing 2), and on Sundays she volunteers with our elementary aged students in the Rock. She also blogs and twitters.
You want me to WHAT?
I want you to give more. (I bet a bunch of you think I’m all up in your business now…I’m not.)
You sigh heavily and mentally tick off the following:
“I give at church. I give to a non-profit organization. I gave money to the Haiti earthquake last year. We have a mortgage, car payments and payments for braces. We have utilities and I still have CHRISTMAS TO BUY FOR. Oh, yeah, I gave to the school fundraiser. What else can I give?”
And then you come to a decision: I give all the time.
So you dismiss me. Which is not unlike my kids – they dismiss me a lot.
Giving means a lot of different things to a lot of different people. Ask 10 of your friends and see what they say- 8 of them will say ‘Give more what?’
And that’s my question to you.
Give more what?
But stay with me here. Berit Kimrey is not specifically asking you to give.
The Bible is more than clear on giving and different forms of it. I’ve shared a few here:
A person finds joy in giving an apt reply— and how good is a timely word! Proverbs 15:22-24
Yet he has not left himself without testimony: He has shown kindness by giving you rain from heaven and crops in their seasons; he provides you with plenty of food and fills your hearts with joy. Acts 14:16-18
Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you Luke 6:38
Share with God’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality. Romans 12:13
Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. 1 Timothy 6:18
So that’s a lot of random Bible verses poured out into 4 screen inches. But what does it mean?
That’s the beauty of it- let God whisper the answer to you. Let Him tell you exactly how to Give more this holiday season.
The easy (and somewhat obvious) answer to me is to give more money to someone else who needs it. It was my first conclusion because I ask people for money all the time. Here’s a staggering statistic: there are over 1,574,674 tax-exempt organizations. I’m not saying all of them are good or do good work. Here’s a further look at that breakdown:
- 959,698 public charities
- 100,337 private foundations
- 514,639 other types of nonprofit organizations, including chambers of commerce, fraternal organizations and civic leagues.
Now, since you’re still reading AND you’re a generous soul, give $1 to each one.
With over 1.5 million choices and counting, there are favorable odds that you’ll find something or somewhere you can feel good GREAT about giving to that you actually believe will do the most good. (If you need an additional recommendation, I have one or two to share).
But WAIT: there’s more.
Give more comes in all shapes, forms and exercises. Giving can be a multitude of things: give time to your kids. You can give someone a parking space and park a little farther away at the mall. You can give away an old coat to the homeless (see two above). Take time to give the high school kid in the drive through a compliment when they look really frazzled and overwhelmed. Pay for someone else’s dry cleaning in the drive through. Give a dollar out the window to the person holding the sign at a traffic light.
Now give more doesn’t seem quite as hard as it did 613 words ago.
So put on your thinking caps:
How will you give more this year?
This Christmas season at FN, we’ve decided to join into the Advent Conspiracy. As a part of celebrating together, we’ve asked several people to write about each week’s topic here on our blog. And we’d like for you to join in too: share your reactions, plans, or experiences in the comments. Or, if you post on your own blog, leave a link in the comments. Post pictures to our Facebook wall. Tweet us @fellowshipnorth. Let’s use our online space as a community – one that will conspire together this Christmas season!