21 ways to give sacrificially (not just financially)Essays, Social Justice — By Jan O'Daniel on April 2, 2012 at 11:25 am
A few years ago my pastor was addressing our church on the idea of change. We were about to experience unprecedented growth and become a big church, and he was trying to prepare our stubborn hearts to not just accept, but to embrace and even spearhead change.
He wanted us, in essence, to stopsitting and start serving.
I recall him boldly and clearly saying, “Some of you are fat with knowledge.”
I was, ahem, to say the least, ticked off.
I do not like to be called out. I do not like it in the least. I do not like in my life. I do not like it at my church. I do not like it here nor there, I do not like it anywhere.
But ya know … I’ve never forgotten it.
It was one of those life-changing phrases for me. It haunts me, in fact. It reverberates in my consciousness every few months or weeks or days.
And today was one of them.
Partly because I’m feeling fat. Literally. My gastric bypass journey has been hard. I’m not where I want to be with my weight and food issues. Far from it.
I’m frustrated because what I want to do, I do not do. I’m fat with knowledge in this area.
I need to stop doing some things (eating too many calories). And I need to start doing others (exercising consistently).
In my physical feeling of fatness, I was reminded (once again) that I continue to be fat with knowledge.
What I know about walking the Christian walk and what I do are sometimes two completely different things.
The fruits of my natural spirit are anger, discontent, unrest, irritability, rudeness and selfishness. I’d much rather walk in the fruits of the Holy Spirit.
What I want to do, I do not do.
I remain fat with knowledge. Again.
And as my church is headed toward yet another chapter of growth, including a new building, my pastor reminded us today that giving our church away and serving others requires something I’d sometimes rather not do—give sacrificially like Jesus.
Whether I’m giving time, money or energy, my tendency is to give out of abundance, rather than substance. Which simply means that I give what I can, up to the point of, but not including, much discomfort.
But sacrificial giving, like Jesus at the cross, is hard. It’s uncomfortable. It’s painful. And, given my druthers, 9.99 times out of 10 I don’t want to do it.
Which brings me back to being fat. With knowledge. I know I should. I may even want to. But I don’t.
But that can change.
So how can I give sacrificially? How can you?
Well, I Googled it (of course) and found this list that inspired this one:
21 Ways to Give Sacrificially (Not Just Financially)
Stop multitasking and really focus on and listen to others.
Fast from TV one night a week and serve others instead.
Keep your old whatever (cell phone, computer, washer/dryer) instead of buying new and give the money saved to a ministry.
Create a budget that lets you tithe/offer an extra 5%.
Do that thing for someone else that you’d rather not do, but do it anyway. With good cheer.
Spend time with someone who needs a friend.
Give your vacation away or donate the money you would’ve spent to a missionary.
Take a part-time job and use the money earned to sponsor an orphan.
Get off the couch and do something for your church, your community or your neighbors.
Shop at a thrift store and put the savings into your church offering.
Order only water when you’re in a restaurant and put the savings toward Water for Water.
Offer free babysitting services to friends with young children.
Sell something and give the money to someone in need.
Volunteer to do the thing that nobody else wants to do.
Share a simple meal with someone you don’t know very well.
Find a need and fill it.
Serve in your church in a way that is beyond your interests and preferences.
Skip Starbucks, McDonald’s, Chipotle, etc. and use the $10 to buy a Book 4 Life.
Keep your promise. When you say you’re going to show up, be somewhere, help, make food, clean up, set up, tear down or do whatever, then do it. On time. When and how you said you would.
Forgive someone who has wronged you.
Give your entire tax refund to the church.