Tuesday, September 20, 2005

On Generosity

I should not be reading these letters to the editor at 2 in the morning.

Excuse me while I acquire some knitting needles. My undies are in a bundle, and it will take some work to get them detangled.

Today's feature letter writer is not unique to South Dakota. This letter could be written to any newspaper at any locale in the country. This letter is about human nature.

The fear of being screwed (human nature) impedes generosity. At least my understanding of the Christian faith and the teaching of Jesus says to me that being wrong about the integrity of someone receiving God's charity through me should not be a roadblock to generosity at all. If you want to theologically convince me that I am wrong, I encourage you to do so. Honestly, I will listen. Any amateur political philosophers from the school of Fox News Channel or the National Review can save their energy. I don't want to hear it.

Basically, if someone wastes the opportunity that I share through generosity, I don't give a f***. This doesn't mean that I won't be discerning about where my resources are allocated, it means that my fear cannot guide my generosity. I hope and pray that I can still be generous. Who is to say that the next person's generosity will not transform that person who seems to be repeatedly taking a "free ride"? I am really glad that God hasn't given up on me for all the bad decisions I make every day. I am blessed enough that today I don't have to worry about the things that many of the working and non working poor worry about. I am thankful that I am not living on the mercy of today's featured author. I'm not called to be the judge. I'm called to be generous.

If I happen to dispise taxes from the Federal Government, I can bypass them quite a bit by being extra generous. Then the organizations that I feel are doing the best job will receive that money. In my imagination, my taxes go toward great, efficient arms of the government. Like FEMA. Check that. MY taxes go towards important things, like good roads (I like road trips).

The acts of generosity and mercy transform lives. When I look at my life, the generosity and mercy of God have truly changed my life.

I feel better now. Not because I vented--but because I have been chewing over this concept of generosity and how it plays out in this political culture for a few years now. Today's feature letter writer gave me a reason to articulate my prayer and thought.

Praying that I can live in God's generosity...

Just plain ol' Elihu

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