Today is Giving Tuesday.
“What’s that?” you may ask.
Well, it’s the Tuesday following American Thanksgiving (and all those hectic shopping days). And it’s likely that even if you haven’t heard of it before, you’ll be hearing about it in the future. That’s because Giving Tuesday is gaining global momentum.
Giving Tuesday was created four years ago by an organization in New York City that wanted to inspire people towards acts of generosity and giving. It’s a challenge to move away from consumerism and towards investing in non-material things. In their own words, “As a global movement, #GivingTuesday unites countries around the world by sharing our capacity to care for and empower one another.”
#GivingTuesday wants us to embrace generosity for a day, and that’s a great idea. In fact, Jesus asks for even more. As believers, our challenge is to actually live like it’s Giving Tuesday every day—not being centered on material things, possessions and purchases, but on pouring out resources and hearts into love of neighbor in a myriad of ways. In a culture increasingly focused on getting stuff, giving stuff and having stuff, we have the opportunity to live counter-culturally and embrace Kingdom treasures.
So in honor of this cultural movement towards giving and generosity, here is a list of ways we can intentionally give back today (and every day after that!)
Give attention and affection. Give your time and presence to the people around you. Share love in all its variety of forms. Listen. Do something significant together. Give a hug, a squeeze of the hand, or a touch on the arm. All of these can say, “I’m glad you’re you,” “I’m here for you,” and “I enjoy being with you.”
Give service. Sometimes nothing says “I love you” as much as meeting a tangible need or jumping in to help in some way. Running errands, washing the dishes, or shoveling a sidewalk are all ways of saying “I value you and want you to know I care.”
Give a gift. Where our money goes often reveals what our hearts treasure more than anything else. A thoughtful gift (or even just a simple card) communicates love in a powerful way. It says that a person is worth investing in, worth the time and thought needed to select, buy, or create a gift or a special experience.
Give praise. Along with our family, friends, and those in need, Giving Tuesday is also a good time to give back to God through praise and thanks. Recognizing God’s work in our lives is another important way to incorporate a thankful attitude.
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