“In All things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, 'It is more blessed to give than to receive.'” Acts 20:35
You may have heard about the latest trend in the independent music scene: The Kickstarter campaign. I'll be the first to admit that I have contributed to a few in my day but that I'm starting to get tired of the way it makes people feel about giving. What I mean is that we give to expect something cool or a “limited edition” back. God ultimately wants us to give without expecting anything in return. You look through the whole New Testament and see that people just gave to the missionaries freely, not wanting any reward or benefit in return. They only wanted to see the Gospel spread to more and more people. Some where along the line in history we lost that sense of giving freely.
The worst place for what I'm going to call commercialism giving is in the USA. Yeah, not too shocking, right! We here in America are always looking out for number 1, and that is you and me. Yet we call ourselves a “Christian” nation, or one that is highly sophisticated in social issues. Our favorite past time is spending money or “giving money." Again, I'll be the first to admit I'm the worst of the worst. Another shocking fact is that it is killing me and you. Look at what James has to say in chapter 2 verses 14 through 17: “What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, 'Go in peace, be warmed and filled,' without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.” Pretty haunting words, especially in this consumer-based system, like where I sit here in a pretty nice house with computers, iPods, and the old Wii system with a ton of games sitting in the corner, while people are starving, and I know you have heard that before. In all honesty this kickstarter world is just killing us. It is taking away the joy of giving because it brings us into a “What-about-me” state of mind.
The funny thing is that I'm writing this article just after the biggest commercialism event of the year the infamous Black Friday super sales at every store from Bed, Bath, & Beyond to Target. I can say proudly this year I didn't go out in the madness. I'm no better, though, in the fact that I participated a little bit online with AmazonMP3. This year the death toll might have only been one, but think of all the people slaving in China to make this crap. We want a cheap world; we get what we asked for: a cheap faith. On and on it goes until we say to the beggar, “God bless you, but I won't give you any of my food or clothes, and God forbid! My money!” Sadly that is where we are headed and where some of us are at. My rebel cry in the end is “kickstart this!”
He has Risen,