rarity_generosity_necklace_by_ryoki_fureaokibi-d4ieaj0.pngMe and Doctor Showbizhair watch a show called My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. It is an educational television series about the magic of friendship…. That’s what I choose to refer to it as, anyway. In this show, there exists something called “the elements of harmony”. These elements represent the magic that is found in friendship. And one of these elements is “generosity”.

On Thursday, we will be having a post to announce some important changes that our organization will be making; this includes a new focus on teamwork, for us. This month we have all been trying to make posts in collaboration with another team member, and one very important lesson that I have learned in all of this is that generosity is indeed an important element in teamwork / friendship.

Doctor Showbizhair:

Showbizhair, here, butting into the conversation: HELLO FRIENDS!

Friendship is indeed magic and giving doesn’t need to have a percentage or a number behind it. Those who have the element of generosity do not need to count out how much they have given or how many times they have been there for others! They don’t need to count it, because they JUST DO IT!

People with generosity often give, even when it may be STUPID to do so; they do so based on what a lot of people seem to believe. Which is that if they give, then they will receive many times over. *Insert rant from an older passionate Church deacon (from right before he takes up an offering for the church) about recieving back ten-fold!* And that is true, but not in the sense that they (and this church deacon ^^^^) take it. There is a lot more to both the giving and the recieving of generosity than that.

See, being generous does not only mean the giving of money – it means much, much more than that!

I know from personal experience that when you are generous with your friends, you recieve back many times over. At one point (like some of you), I have helped friends (including Josh, here) eat, and he has never given me money in return, and I don’t bother keeping a record.

Do I do it because I like holding it over his head? No. (Thanks, friend!) Do I do it because he needed to eat and I care about him as a friend? Yes of course. And, the friendship that has developed from this, over the years, has been its own reward!

And, Jesus, in the Bible, commands that we be generous with our love to one another – including, the poor and needy in this world, the poor in spirit, and those who may not even comprehend our generosity.  We give love, because Christ first loved us (1 John 4) and we are blessed through participation in His spirit.

“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.  By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
– John 13: 34 – 35 (ESV)

I have told you all before about the magic of frienship and oxytocin and stuff, and how one way to help addicts is simply by being their friend and surrounding them with other good friends. But now, thereforth (sense we’re aparently speaking “Bible talk”) I say unto you that anyone poor in spirit may be blessed with your friendship also, and you too shall be blessed in return!

Yeah…. so, anyway, the word for love in the Bible verses above, can also be translated as “charity”. Though this is obviously not limited to money, as we have already tried to show, it does still include monetary giving. The first thing most traditionally-raised Christians think of, concerning monetary giving to the ministry, is the act of tithing.

So…. I guess now Josh is going to talk about how tithing is God’s tax. I know very little about God’s tax aside from what I casually observe, because Agnostic (*points at self*). So, take us away, buddy!

Yes, the “tithe” was indeed God’s tax system set up in the Old Testament (Leviticus 27). (“Tithe” literally means one-tenth.) The original commandment to tithe in the Bible, included multiple tithes that were set in place to support religious leaders, civil leaders, country-wide festivals, and the poor / widowed / needy / sick. These tithes together actually accumulated to be about 23.3% of one’s original income.

All of this is good and we should support our government with our taxes.
[But, what about the Boston Tea Party?
We don’t have time to get into when to go Rogue, just now!
Oh, okay, carry on then….
Thank you!]
Those of us in any kind of democracy should encourage our government to use tax money to support our leaders, festivals, and the needy – just as God had set up Israel’s government to do, in the Old Testament. And, those of us who are believers should also support our ministers:

“The Lord commanded that those who proclaim the gospel should get their living by the gospel.” – 1 Corinthians 9:14 (ESV)

[Gospel just means “good news”, right? So, this includes people like me, sense I tell people how awesome I am and how awesome science is, right?
Not really, but I feel at liberty to lump you in with us anyway, for now.]

This being said, I personally do not believe God expects us all to give 10% or 23.3% of our earnings to the ministry. (I said that at the very begining! I said that first, stop repeating me!) Clearly, believers are commanded to give and have their giving support these things; but, instead of giving a certain percentage of our earnings, I believe we should give all that we can!

In 2 Corinthians, St Paul is writing to the church in the city of Corinth. He tells them about the church in the city of Macedonia, where everyone was going through extreme poverty, but still chose to give to ministers and to those in greater poverty than themselves (2 Corinthians 8:1-15).

Paul’s point in this story: the element of generosity is greater than our circumstances! For those who have yet to discover this element in their own spirits, I encourage you to pray and seek out this element in yourselves.

“I say this not as a command, but to prove by the earnestness of others that your love also is genuine.” – 2 Corinthians 8:8 (ESV)

My grandfather was from another country; and, when he moved here, he got a job that put him in the 50% tax bracket. Many of you might say that is unfair, or ask how much he was making.

He was a professor, and he made a lot by today’s standards – this was back when we valued education. That aside, he was always happy to pay the taxes, not because he liked giving his money away (yeah, no likes doing that!), but because he loved this country and wanted to help people. 

[Your grandfather had one of the elements of harmony, and you never told me!??
Yeah, he was also an alicorn from another dimension and could have taught us both how to get into Equistria!
NO! …. Now, can I finish my story?
Ugh, fine!]

I think he understood the point of taxes more than most. It’s true that when he did this, the tax system favored the common person and not the wealthy. (I feel it is important to tell this story in relation to tithes. Yeah, it is.) He had the money to give, and he did not consider it a tax, he wanted the government (maybe it’s the church in some of your cases) to use it to help better society.

I suspect he would have given even if he had not made as much money, but he would not have done it at the expense of his family. He knew the money that he gave went to make the world around him better, for the most part, and he gave to help those in more need than himself.

Which is why I think those in need probably should not pay tithes; because, while noble, giving when you have little will make it harder for you to help others in the future. There is a story about a widow giving money to a temple to which people say she gave the most because she gave everything she had.

You mean that story from the Bible with Jesus and the religious leaders??

Yeah sure, whatever, but what we should really take from that story is that these religious leaders were stealing from the poor by taking money from those who needed it more than they did.

I TOLD YOU THIS STORY! And yeah, that’s what it’s about in the whole context of the story – check it out in Mark 12.

I think if people adhered to the concept of giving time or energy or ACCEPTING HELP when needed, it would make more sense.
God did say after all,

“those who cannot pick themselves up by their bootstraps are going to hell.”

[No, that’s not true at all!
Are you sure?
Ugh, fine….]

Scratch that fake quote, above.

St Paul also extends this warning not to give of what we do not have, in the same passage that we mentioned earlier about the church at Macedonia:

“For if the readiness is there, it is acceptable according to what a person has, not according to what he does not have. For I do not mean that others should be eased and you burdened, but that as a matter of fairness your abundance at the present time should supply their need, so that their abundance may supply your need, that there may be fairness. As it is written, ‘Whoever gathered much had nothing left over, and whoever gathered little had no lack.’”
– 2 Corinthians 8:12-15 (ESV)

Soon, we will be adding opportunities for everyone who is part of our community to donate to our church/ organization/ family here, on our site and on our Facebook page. We do this as an outlet for our team, including our readers, to express the element of generosity that we all should be earnestly seeking in our own spirits. Once we begin this, this is what our budget will look like, monthly:

  • 10% will be evenly divided and given to local churches in the communities where our writers live. We do this to support these churches (and their ministers), whom we believe in, and so that we can serve as a good example of how to treat one’s funds.
  • 40% will be given to local charities – such as food banks, homeless shelters, and even health research corporations.
  • 30% will be given to the writers of this site to help them in their ministries and to show our appreciation for their time, so “that those who proclaim the gospel should (read “can”) get their living by the gospel.”
  • 20% will be used towards upkeep of the online ministry, online marketing, and advertising, so that we can better reach others with the good news of health for the body, mind, and soul.

As we begin to shift some of our focus onto teamwork, we must start here with the spirit and element of generosity. We do this together (with you the reader), as a team. This includes how we give our time, our money, our efforts, and our love.

“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.  By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
– John 13: 34 – 35 (ESV)

You already used this verse, Josh!

What we ask of you is not something we are unwilling to do, either. I do pay my tithes, give extra money in offering to my church, take many of the youth I help teach at church out to the movies and to eat, and I will be giving 10% of my monthly income to this site as well! I do not say this to brag, but instead so that anyone reading this can know that I am asking you to join our efforts, not to give by yourselves.

We ask you all to both help us give to what we believe matters, as well as to give in support of what we are doing as a ministry (it takes our writers a lot of time to do this online ministry and they deserve our support)  “to prove by the earnestness of others that your love also is genuine (2 Corinthians 8:8).”

He already used that verse, too!  …. I guess he just feels like reiterating himself today!?


2 thoughts on “Generosity – The Proving Element of Love

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s