Saturday, January 28, 2012

Re-thinking generosity (Deborah Storie)

Deborah Storie wrote a thought-provoking article just before Christmas about "giving well". This article is relevant to giving in general, not just at Christmas time. Take a good look and be challenged. Here is an excerpt.

"The growing popularity of sending gift boxes overseas, orphanages in far-away places, and some short-term 'mission' trips, are all symptoms of a broader shift in Australian thought over the last few years. They reflect a hierarchical worldview in which some give generously and others gratefully receive. According to this worldview, rich Christians are responsible to give generously to the poor and not much more. This worldview is based on a narrow understanding of poverty which equates it with material deprivation and fails to acknowledge the complex networks of forces that give more to those who already have too much, and take from those who already have  too little . In this worldview, deeper structural causes of poverty and inequality don’t exist."

"I long for us to give respectfully and intelligently in ways which address underlying problems and empower the poor. Sadly, our love of mercy often blinds us to the need to do justice and walk humbly with our God."

Click here for the full article.

1 comment:

Agent X said...

We have too much stuff at our house. We are addicted to stuff. We are greedy for more.

But we care too. We are American through and through, and yet we struggle to be Christian and give of ourselves, live wisely in creation and bear God's image faithfully and healingly. We are torn in this house.

I am sure poverty is complex and there are underlying issues and all that. I do not deny a bit of it.

However, I think there are no problems with us making changes within lifestyles, hearts and expectations. We really can, and probably should, sell everything we own, give it to the poor, and go follow Jesus. When we give we need to be cheerful. The giving we do should be in secret, so as not to puff up ourselves. We should see the givees as Jesus himself, and therefore if we withhold, it is him we deny and face judgment over it. It is completely acceptible - even preferred - if we sell our property and or donate it to the community and hold all things in common so that no one goes in need.

This all comes straight out of the NT, and calls for the change deep within us believers as the focus really, and little or no focus on the "effectiveness" of the giving.

At least worth considering...