(Brooke’s generosity Blog)
July 28, 2019
Our values in life are reflected by where our money goes. This is a monetized world. We all know this. We are good at estimating costs. Remember the show The Price is Right? It is still on the television. Guess the price and you get a prize! Lots of cheering, clapping and some screaming.
Money is the value that our world gives to things, and we all know how that works. Our money is where we express our values.
We pay by tap, debit, credit card, phone, and sometimes some of us use cash. Cash is rapidly disappearing from common usage. There are discussions about how unfair it is to have retail stores that do not accept cash, because in Canada, more than a million people do not have access to banks, or any means of using the digital economy. All they can use is cash.
One benefit of using the digital economy is getting alarmingly accurate reports in our statements of credit cards, debit and bank accounts about where the money goes. I get charts showing how much goes each month to property taxes, food, entertainment, phone, charitable givings (most goes to Knox Waterloo through Pre-Authorized Contribution to Knox, PACK), internet, transportation, garden supplies, insurance, utilities and the list goes on.
Every purchase seems modest. Yet the monthly total is an accurate statement of what we spend, and it is alarmingly high.
Whether we like it or not, where we spend is where our values are shown. These are the priorities that we are choosing to live by.
How do we know when we live our values? Follow the money.
At a critical point in Jesus’ ministry, his brother and mother confront him and ask him to stop what he is doing lest he deprive his family of a close relation. His rebuke is stinging when he asks, “Who is my brother, who is my mother?” He answers his own questions when he says that those who perform acts that fulfill his vision are his family.
Matthew 25:35-36 gives us a sense of what that vision is: the naked clothed, the homeless housed, the stranger welcomed, the prisoner visited.
Summer is an excellent time to have a conversation with ourselves, and with our family about our priorities in life. What does our last will and testament tell our loved ones about the values we hold dear? What conversations can we have that will better express our loves and our priorities.
God is generous to us, and our response is gratitude. So much of our giving is based upon our capacity to love and show gratitude.
Generosity is the fruit of the faith, hope and love we have in our lives. The greatest of these is love.
By the grace of God, may we choose to live in generosity.