Act N°13 (2017) First Fruits

Yesterday was Chocolate Tuesday. I did indeed buy some bars of chocolate (PROPER bars of PROPER chocolate!) and a box of Ferrero Rocher.

I gave the bars to my students, to the secretary/receptionist at Axalta, (the company where I teach one of my students) and I left a couple of slabs in the lift on the way up to the CCI where I teach my other student. The box of FR I gave to the three women who work at the CCI. Frédérique declared herself “touched” and gave me a big kiss. And a Ferrero Rocher! Spreading joy (& possibly some confusion, as I’m not sure I explained it too well!) all around.

And today? Well, we go from the pleasure and simplicity of giving out chocolate to the thorny topic of money. And what you give. Or don’t.

The prompt reads: Money can be difficult to talk about when it comes to generosity. But thinking about how to treat others first, rather than what you’d spend the money on yourself – that can just drastically change your whole perspective on money. So, today’s act is about giving with our money. When money comes your way, what questions are you asking

And the challenges:

This isn’t about the size of your gift – it’s more about whether you prioritise money as a gift. We all have something we can give (even if for some it’s not financial). Put a note in your wallet or purse, reminding yourself that God’s inviting you to offer your best at every transaction. Or put a reminder in your phone for payday.

Who could you creatively gift today? Do you know someone who’s struggling with money? Put their need first and treat them with what you have. That could be dropping off some supermarket vouchers, covering a bus ticket, or taking them out for a meal/movie on you.

Take stock of your finances today: how much are you giving regularly? Are you giving regularly, or just as and when? Is today the day to set up your first financial gift? Or the day to increase it a little? If you want to get your financial giving in better shape this could be a good day to explore opening a Stewardship giving account.

You can read the whole meditation over here

I’m not sure why I feel less comfortable I feel talking about this than, for example, how much chocolate I bought…

I’m not a very organised giver, partly because our finances aren’t organised in the sense that – while we have some idea of how much I’ll earn in the month ahead – we’re not quite sure about the months after that. With Mr FD not earning at the moment, we need to be more careful. But I have my regular giving to church, my 2€ collection, and my Lend with Care account, which Keith kick started for me with a gift voucher, which I then matched. (But that’s not exactly giving, is it? That’s lending!!) I know that, in having a job, house, car, food, warmth, clothes etc. we are indeed among the richest 10% of the world. It just doesn’t feel like it sometimes!

But I’m not sure I fully understand what the Green challenge is asking us to do – does the note remind us to be more generous? What does it mean “God’s inviting you to offer your best at every transaction“? When I pay for my supermarket shop how do I “give my best”? Is it a case of when paying for the less essential items in your trolley (wine, biscuits, crisps…) you recognise how blessed/lucky I am to be able to buy non-essentials, just like that, and so you are grateful? I imagine that, in doing this, you begin to cling to your money less, and be more open to sharing it.

Maybe this one needs more thought. What do you think, dear readers?



7 thoughts on “Act N°13 (2017) First Fruits

  1. This is an interesting post for me today- having just checked my on-line balance. Can’t worry about what you don’t have! But I am doing a bit of an audit re where it all goes, so quickly. And the fact is that a lot of what goes out on the boys doesn’t bring back enough “value-added” to justify the expense, so that’s a new month resolution! I do love your honest, integrity-filled, so so inspiring acts, Dormouse. You are a legend!

  2. For us it begins, and continues, with returning tithe. (And keeping the Sabbath, because to me that is like a tithe of our time.) After that, we must be open to the Spirit. It has helped me to think of how much I would readily spend on “X” when considering how much to give to or for some need. And this “year of non-acquisition” is helping me, too.

    1. That’s a good way of looking at it Michelle. I think that comparing one’s spending on oneself (especially on non-essentials) and on other people is a sobering thought. Yers, it’s your money and you earned it, but it is also a gift from God, and should be seen as that.

  3. I’ve just been reading through your posts so far. I’ve been getting the emails but not been managing to do all of them or many. I’ve enjoyed the ones I have done. This one is an interesting one as I am a fairly organised giver but I could do more AND indeed, I know my church needs money for something and I need to get organised and do something about it. I did manage once before when something similar occurred there so I just need to be organised and do it stop worrying about saving!

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