Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Thought for the Day

As delivered at BBC Radio Bristol this morning. One or two changes on delivery to fit in with daily theme and running joke:

Jesus once told a crowd, in Matthew's version of the story, that they should give to the needy in secret. They should not, he added, seek publicity for their good works.

Charity bobble hats. Friends for parents volunteers. Britton's Big Night Out. Three of today's four key stories involve giving in some way.

How do you decide how much to give away? And to whom do you give it?

Those are, of course, entirely your personal decisions.

I had a letter to our church this week from an organisation we used to support. But we've made a conscious, and I think very good, decision, to give more money to fewer causes. So our money really makes a difference. When the Trendlewood Church Council deliberates on these things we are all very much aware that we are giving away other people's money. And the Church itself is a charity, its Council are the Trustees and we have to act wisely and sensibly. But the letter tore at my heart strings. As do the films on Sports Relief, Comic Relief and Children in Need days.

As someone who feels guilty walking past the Big Issue seller I am not unaware of the issues.

A wise mentor, many years ago, suggested to me that we should all live off 90% of what we earn and give the rest away. If you start early then all you do is take only 90% of every pay rise.

The Bible suggests we should give joyfully. I once read that a better translation of the Greek word there would be 'hilariously'.

So my thought. Hang light to money. Use it to bless others if you can. And try not to show off about it.

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